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DARK SCENES OE HISTORY. 



BY 



G. P. R. JAMES, ESQ., 

AT7THOB OF "THE WOODMAN," "COWRIE," "THE CONVICT," "THE FOKQBBT,* 
"THIRTY YEARS SINCE," "RICHELIEU," &C., &C. 




NEW YORK: 
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS, 

82 CLIFF STREET. 

1850. 



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DARK SCENES OF HISTORY, 



FRANCE. 
CHAPTER I. 

AMBOISE. 

THERE is a solitary hall, ceiled by a vaulted roof, with five 
tall windows looking to the south, through which the moon- 
light is pouring on the floor. It is, perhaps, forty feet in 
length, and somewhat less than thirty in width, with the walls 
destitute of ornament, and the furniture scanty, though rich 
A long table occupies the center of the hall ; seats are ranged 
on either side; but no guests, for the moment, tenant the 
chamber, and the only light is that * afforded by the bright 
planet as she wanders further and further to the south. 

Hark, a door opens. It is that of the ante-chamber ; and 
the wind which it admits shakes the door of the hall, and 
makes it rattle on its hinges. Other sounds find their way 
in also ; those of voices laughing and talking. They are soon 
excluded, as the door of the ante-room is closed again ; and 
then a man, in the dress of a servant, enters, bearing a bghte 
taper His step is slow and quiet ; and one by one he lighl 
the candles in the sconces, arranges the seats more orderly 
round the table, and retires. 

A few minutes after there comes a buzz, and then the noise 
of opening doors, and steps ; and then the end of the hall is 
thronged by some twenty or thirty men, all entering together. 
They pause for a moment, as if waiting for some one, ere 
they take their seats ; and a harsh, grating sound, like that 
of a key turning in a lock, is heard from the ante- room. 1 he 
next instant, passing through the midst of them, as they draw 
back to give him entrance, comes the lord of the Castle oi JLa 
Ferte himself. Somewhat less than the middle height, but 
beautifully and gracefully formed, with a face of almost fem- 
inine beauty, and a world of fire and intelligence in his bright 



4 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

black eyes, dressed with exquisite taste and neatness, and with 
a free and dignified carriage, he advances toward the head of 
the table, looking and feeling the prince. 

" Be seated, noble sirs, be seated," said Conde ; " I crave 
your pardon for detaining you ; but it is better that an empty 
room should lie between ourselves and listening ears. All my 
people are doubtless honest ; but yet I am fond of having a 
lock between them and my counsels." 

One by one they took their places round the table. The 
first who seated himself on the right hand of Conde was 
dressed in a scarlet robe, with a broad edge of lace. He ad- 
vanced with a quiet, gliding step, a graceful air, and a coun- 
tenance the general expression of which was mild but shrewd. 
The features were good, the forehead broad, the eye quick and 
clear, and there was a bland and polished smile about the 
mouth which was wondrous winning. 

It was the Cardinal de Chatillon. 

The next who appeared was a powerful man of the middle 
age, with thin, white locks, and somewhat shaggy eyebrows. 
The brow was broad and massive, the lower part of the face 
square cut, the chin somewhat prominent, and the lips and 
teeth compressed, as if he feared his thoughts might have too 
ready utterance. He was plainly dressed in a dark brown 
suit, and across the back of his large, bony hand was the scar 
of an ancient wound. His steps were peculiarly slow and 
considerate, each one falling firm upon the floor, and seeming 
to take hold of it, before another was advanced. It was a 
very characteristic step ; and those who knew the Admiral 
de Coligni, could tell his approach by his footfall long before 
they saw him. 

Next came his brother, D'Andelot, somewhat taller than 
Coligni, with his hair much darker and his forehead higher, 
but not so broad. His movements were lighter and more 
free, and, though the features of his face were stern, there was 
a bold and open frankness in the expression, and a somewhat 
sarcastic turn of the lip, which diminished the likeness be- 
tween himself and his brother. He advanced quickly to his 
seat, cast himself down upon it abruptly, and swung his arm 
over the tall back of the chair. \ 

Some eighteen or twenty more made up the party ; and 
among them, as they ranged themselves round the table, 
might be seen many a different set of features, many a differ- 
ent expression. There was the hard and stern, the light and 
gay, the dull and heavy, the look of thoughtless simplici- 



FRANCE AM BOISE. 5 

ty, aud the keen and fox-like glance of the shrewd and cun- 
ning. 

As soon as they were all seated, the Prince de Conde looked 
to Coligni, as if expecting him to speak ; but Coligni was si- 
lent ; and the prince then began the consultation himself, by 
saying, with his eyes still turned toward the admiral, 

" I think we are all agreed that this is to be borne no 
longer, and that immediate steps must be taken for wrench- 
ing the staff of rule out of the hands which usurp it, for re- 
storing it to our sovereign, from whom it has been virtually 
snatched, and for freeing France from the oppression of the 
house of Lorraine." 

Coligni bowed his head slowly ; and the prince went on in 
the same rapid manner to paint, with a few sharp, decided 
touches, the state to which he said France was reduced by 
the family of Guise, and ended with a laugh, saying, 

" So now, noble gentlemen, our business is to consider how 
we will catch the wolf without getting our fingers bit." 

" Faith, I mind not if he fix all his fangs in my left hand, 
so my right be free to cut his throat," replied D'Andelot. 

" We must leave the choice of which hand he will bite to 
himself," said the Cardinal de Chatillon, with a quiet smile, 
" if we do not take care that he shall not bite at all. We 
must be more wary than we have been, my good brother, not 
alone because we may be injured ourselves, but because we 
may irretrievably ruin a good cause, and sacrifice the best in- 
terests of France by any precipitancy. What say you, Mon- 
sieur de Rohan ?" 

" Decision of counsel, firmness of purpose, careful prepara- 
tion, and resolute execution are all needed," said the duke ; 
" but I think your eminence saw some difficulties in the way 
of our acting together as a body before every preparation is 
separately made." 

"Nay, my noble friend," said the cardinal, with a courtly 
smile, " your usual generosity attributes to me that wise fore- 
sight which you yourself so eminently possess. It was you 
who suggested that it would be better for all inferior person- 
ages belonging to the party opposed to the tyranny of the 
Guises to be prepared, armed, and on their march before the 
principal personages took any share in the enterprise." 

Rohan understood the Cardinal de Chatillon well, and knew 
that, although apparently as frank and free as D'Andelot, he 
was at heart as reserved and cautious as Coligni, and never 
loved to commit himself to an opinion where he could help it. 



6 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

"True," he answered; "but it was your foresight of the 
dangers which induced me to suggest the course by which 
they might be avoided. You saw that, if we were to superin- 
tend all the details of the enterprise ourselves, our frequent 
meetings would call the jealous eyes of power upon us, and 
means would be taken to frustrate our efforts ere our plans 
were well matured." 

" Well, well," cried D'Andelot, " it matters little which 
found the hole, and which set the trap ; by my faith ! we must 
cease compliments. What is the plan suggested ? I do not 
understand it." 

" To move the pawns forward before the knights and cas- 
tles," said Conde, with a light laugh. 

" Not forgetting to keep the bishops out of all danger," re- 
plied D'Andelot ; " but let us hear more of the game." 

It was then that the voice of Coligni was heard for the first 
time. 

" There are nearly two millions of Protestants in France," 
he said, in a calm, grave tone, " and on them we must prin- 
cipally rely to overthrow the tyranny of those who have op- 
pressed them, although we may hope for the assistance of all 
good men who hate tyranny, whatsoever be their faith. Of 
those two millions, there are fully three hundred thousand 
capable of bearing arms. At the moment of action they must 
have a leader, who, from his high position, will have authority, 
and who, from his military skill, will be at once recognized as 
the fittest person to command them. There is but one on 
whom the task can fall : the noble prince here on my left. 
But if he should take any part in these proceedings before the 
moment for action is arrived, he will lead the eyes of our ene- 
mies to the conduct of the inferior agents ; for the very quali- 
ties which fit him for the task render him an object of jealousy 
of those whom we seek to overthrow. The Protestant party, 
and all who are inclined to act with them in opposing oppres- 
sion, must be warned, prepared, armed, and directed ; and the 
difficulty to be overcome is to find a means of effecting this 
without exciting suspicion. Consider of it, gentlemen. It 
can be done, undoubtedly. The question is, how it may best 
be done." 

" If each of us were to employ some secret agent in his own 
neighborhood," said a gentleman some way down the table, 
" and were to suffer him to make all the arrangements in his 
own name ?" 

" Among so manv we should find a Judas," said D'Andelot. 



FRANCE AMBOISE. 7 

" You can never make toils to catch a lion out of butterfly- 
nets," replied Conde. 

" It must be trusted to one," murmured Coligni, in a low 
voice. "There is no strong action without unity of design." 

" There must be a leader, I think," said the Cardinal de 
Chatillon, in his quiet, insinuating manner, " during the 
time of preparation, as well as a chief at the moment of 
action." 

" And that leader," said the Duke de Rohan, " must be one 
not sufficiently distinguished to attract observation, but suffi- 
ciently resolute and energetic to obtain authority by the force 
of his own mind, sufficiently docile to follow the course pointed 
out to him, and sufficiently trust- worthy not to betray the cause 
in which he is engaged." 

" A combination of rare qualities !" exclaimed D'Andelot, 
" only to be found united, I believe, in myself and the other 
gentlemen present." 

He spoke with an abrupt laugh, as if he thought it impos- 
sible to find a suitable person ; and the conversation became 
for a few moments broken up into low consultations, at differ- 
ent parts of the table, between the gentlemen placed near each 
other. 

At length a name began to be mentioned though who 
originally brought it forward no one ever knew and, at first 
passing about in whispers, it was at length pronounced aloud. 
Conde, as soon as he caught it, exclaimed, " La Renaudie ? 
The very man !" 

Several of the gentlemen looked doubtful ; and the Cardinal 
de Chatillon, although he knew the man's history well, said, 
in a quiet tone, " La Renaudie ? Who is he ?" 

" I will tell you all about him in a few words," said Conde. 
" He is a man without scruples and without fears. As to his 
religion, he will give offense to no church and no sect by that. 
He has the courage of a lion, the activity of a deer, the perse- 
verance of a ferret, the cunning of a fox. His eloquence is 
extraordinary, and can be used for any purpose he has in view ; 
for he can find equal arguments for all sorts of persons, and has 
no hesitation in using them. He once nearly persuaded me 
that robbery is honest, and lying truth." 

" I think I have heard of him," said the cardinal. " Was 
he not tried for forgery in Perigueux ?" 

" No, he was not tried," answered Conde. " He was only 
arrested ; but prison walls have little hold upon him. He 
soon got out, and went to Switzerland till the storm had 



8 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

blown over. He has lived among storms, indeed, all his life, 
but always got his boat safe into port." 

" Were it not dangerous to trust such important secrets to 
such a man 1" asked a grave personage from the bottom of the 
table. 

" No, my noble friend, no," answered Conde. " He has 
one principle ; and it is all the stronger for being solitary. He 
never betrays any one, and some five years ago had nearly lost 
his life by this discreet honesty. But I may as well answer 
all objections at once, for the moment hia name was mention- 
ed I saw that he was the man for our purpose. He is of a 
good family in the South, so that he will have no difficulty in 
communicating with all our best friends ; and I have no fear 
whatever in taking upon myself the task of communicating 
with him, without risking the intervention of any one else. 
Thus no one will be put to hazard, and as soon as your plans 
are fully sketched out, I will send for him, and propose the 
enterprise to him." 

" I hope your highness will take care of paper," said Rohan. 
" One never knows how it will appear when it comes out of 
La Renaudie's hands." 

Conde nodded with a smile, replying, " Word of mouth, 
word of mouth, my friend. He will undertake the task, I am 
sure ; for I believe he would steal the thunder-bolts out of the 
hand of Jupiter, or filch the keys from Saint Peter." 

" Is he of the Reformed Church ?" demanded the cardinal. 

" Oh, we ask no questions about religion," exclaimed D'An- 
delot. " No one inquires into yours, my good brother ; and 
we must not narrow down our operations into a mere religious 
movement. It is one in which all good men of France may 
join who seek to throw off oppression. Otherwise," he add- 
ed with a smile, " how happen we to have you among us to- 
day?" 

" One thing ought to be made clear," said a heavy-looking 
man, who had hitherto taken no share in the conversation. 
" Are we justified in taking arms for the purposes in view ?" 

Coligni turned his calm, thoughtful eyes upon him with a 
look of some surprise ; and the* gentleman added, " Depend 
upon it, it is a question which will be put by many, when the 
matter is first proposed to them." 

Conde looked impatient ; and D' Andelot's lip quivered ; but 
the Cardinal de Chatillon interposed with his mellifluous 
voice and soft, courtly manner, saying, " That is a subject 
which should have been touched upon before. My noble 



FRANCE AMBOISE. 9 

friend Monsieur de Seez might be quite sure he would not 
see me here unless I had ascertained that we are justified in 
law as well as in conscience. The first jurisconsults in France 
have been applied to, as to the question of how far it is law- 
ful to take arms for the purpose of freeing the king and the 
state from the oppression of those who now rule it. I have 
the answers of three of them here in writing. Look at them, 
Monsieur de Seez, and let all scruples vanish. Copies of 
these must be given to La Renaudie, in order to remove 
doubts wherever he finds they exist." 

He handed the papers down the table, each person taking 
a glance at them before he passed them to the next ; and 
these several great points being determined, a long consulta- 
tion ensued in regard to the details of the enterprise. Several 
times Conde quitted the room ; once to seek a map, once to 
bring a large paper register in which were inscribed numer- 
ous names of families and villages. The party did not sepa- 
rate till nearly three o'clock in the morning ; and after he had 
reached his chamber, Coligni sat for nearly half an hour in 
deep thought, with his cheek resting on his hand, but with- 
out any change of expression crossing his calm and marble 
countenance. 



CHAPTER II. 

w^, *\ 
AMBOISE. 

IN various parts of France, now here, now there, in cities, 
in hamlets, in castles, and in cottages, sometimes by night, 
sometimes in the broad day, passing from place to place with 
a rapidity which seemed to give him the quality of ubiquity, 
coming and going no one knew whence or whithejr, and leav- 
ing no trace of his passage, but a stern and thoughtful look 
on the faces of the men with whom he conversed, was seen a 
powerful man, somewhat above the middle height, with a 
handsome countenance, a prepossessing air and manner, and 
a dress plain but rich, savoring somewhat of the military, 
somewhat of the mercantile man. 

He was always well mounted, always well furnished with 
money, always alone. Sometimes he stopped with those he 
sought only for a moment, sometimes he remained for an 

A 2 






10 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

hour or two. Sometimes he spoke with gay and laughing 
tenderness to the children, sometimes with gallantry to the 
women, and at others, in a graver tone, to the men ; but in 
almost all cases he left them pensive. Even the children 
drew back and gazed. His eye had a peculiar fascination in 
it, which drew attention at once : his voice a strange power, 
which seemed to carry the words beyond the ear, direct to the 
heart and mind : and on he went, ever, as I have said, alone, 
sometimes stopping, it is true, to speak with a horseman who 
met him on the road, but passing forward speedily, and nei- 
ther seeking nor suffering companionship on his journey. 

At Christmas he was at Rheims ; on New-year's eve in 
Paris ; on the third of January, 1550, at Rennes ; on the 
fifth at Angers ; on the sixth at Nantes. No one seemed to 
know his business ; no one called him by his name ; few ask- 
ed him any questions ; but all listened to him, and all re- 
mained thoughtful. 

It was a gay and busy time in the good old town of Nantes. 
The Parliament of the province was assembled within its 
walls ; fetes and ceremonies were going on ; multitudes throng- 
ed the streets and the churches ; and little boys, who had 
come with their parents from the country, stood by the side 
of the Loire, and dropped stones upon the thin ice. But 
many a one in that old town sat quietly in some private room, 
reading, with a heavy brow, " The Defense against Tyrants," 
or " The History of the House of Guise, Masters of all France," 
or " The Chapter of St. Michael," or some of the other lam- 
poons or satires of the day. 

But toward nine o'clock at night, one by one, up a nar- 
row street in the older part of the city, went man after man, 
wrapped in general in a short cloak, and with the bonnet 
pressed over the brow. There seemed nothing remarkable 
about them, except that they all went in the same direction, 
and all stopped opposite a large ancient house, and all went 
in at the same door. It was neither church, nor spectacle, 
nor private dwelling that they sought ; but they found their 
way to a very spacious old hall, dimly lighted, with a table 
toward the upper end, and some benches around. The room 
soon grew crowded ; and at length the doors were shut. 

For some time, no order prevailed, men stood together in 
groups and talked in low tones, or seated themselves on the 
benches and conversed with their neighbor in a whisper. 

That man who had been so lately at Rheiras, and Paris, 
and Angers, was among them there ; and he went from one 



FRANC E A M B O I 8 E. 11 

to another at the lower part of the hall, saying a few words 
to many, but to none speaking much. 

At length, some gentlemen ranged themselves on the up- 
per side of the table. Those below left as much space round 
it as they could ; and several persons, who seemed of author- 
ity, spoke to the assembly, descanting in general terms on 
the evils of the times, the misgovernment under which France 
labored, and the oppression of the house of Guise ; but none 
proposed remedies, none pointedly mentioned the cause of their 
meeting. 

There were occasional murmurs and some signs of impa- 
tience ; for most of the persons there were more fully prepar- 
ed for speedy action than their leaders thought. A voice had 
gone forth among them, telling that the evils under which 
France groaned were intolerable, and they required something 
definite. They did not come to hear things which they had 
all heard a hundred times ; they did not corne to learri what 
they all knew right well. What they asked in their hearts 
was, " How was their state to be redressed ?" 

At length a tongue pronounced aloud the name of "La 
Renaudie," and a dozen others took it up instantly. 

fThere was a pause ; and then a clamor of the same name, 
in the midst of which, that solitary traveler over the face of 
the land came forward to the table, and was greeted by a 
shout as if he were destined to be the savior of France. 

Then poured forth the stream of eloquence, the most sub- 
tle, the most plausible, the most powerful, the most persua- 
sive. There was a mixed multitude before him, of different 
classes, characters, feelings, passions, interests, objects, preju- 
dices ; but, by a peculiar and wonderful power, he seemed to 
hold their reasons and their wills at his disposal. The prej- 
udices of each seemed to be courted and enlisted in turn, the 
objects of each seemed certain to be obtained by the course he 
advocated ; each man found something to win him, each some- 
thing to persuade him. No one saw that the ends were in- 
compatible, the interests irreconcilable, the means inharmo- 
nious with the object. He prophesied boldly ; he flattered 
expectation ; he obscured all risks ; he displayed all hopes ; 
he offered change to men enduring evil. He was the proto- 
type of the agitator of the present day. 

It would be impossible to report what he said ; and were 
it possible, the report would not convey the truth ; for one 
half of his eloquence consisted in his knowledge of the men 
whom he addressed. He began by assuring those who heard 



1* DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

him of his loyalty and attachment to his king, and went on to 
declare that it was the interests of the king that first he 
sought. The authority of the monarch, if not his life, was 
in danger, he said, from the ambition of the house of Guise. 
The people of France were mere serfs to the family of Lor- 
raine. The princes of the blood royal were trampled under 
the feet of upstarts. Nobles and peasantry groaned beneath 
one yoke. In a few bold, powerful words, he drew a fearful 
picture of the state of the land ; and as briefly, but as power- 
fully, displayed what it might be. He assured his hearers 
that all th!fe principal personages of the realm were- ready to 
co-operate with them, that success was certain, and the end 
prosperity. He spared no assertions ; he refrained from no 
prophecies ; and then he sketched out his scheme in -its broad 
details. 

There was to be a universal arming, merely to overawe. 
The preparation for resistance would paralyze the arm of op- 
pression. A deputation of gentlemen, unarmed, were to pre- 
sent a petition to the king for the redress of the grievances 
pointed out. If rejected, they were to seize the Duke of Guise, 
the cardinal his brother, and their principal supporters, and 
to place the gallant Prince de Conde at the head of affairs 
till the king was old enough to rule firmly. The people were 
to stand by armed, and to see this effected. In the mean time 
secret levies were to be made in all parts of France, and per- 
sons were to be chosen from those present to superintend the 
raising of the troops. 

No burst of applause followed his eloquence ; but a low, 
well-satisfied, consenting murmur ran through the assembly. 

A voice from the head of the table exclaimed, " We are all 
agreed. Let us to action." 

An oath was proposed and administered, to aid in carrying 
out the scheme suggested. Every one took it readily ; six- 
teen persons were chosen to raise the necessary troops in all 
the provinces ; and then began the movement of many feet 
toward the door. 

La Renaudie was the last to quit the hall, except a serv- 
ant who extinguished the lights ; and in darkness and in si- 
lence each man carried to his home the dangerous secret 
with which he was loaded. 



FRANCE AMBOI8E. 13 



CHAPTER III. 

AMBOISE. 

IN a fine old chateau, in one of the midland parts of France, 
now called the department of Cher et Loire, sat a gentleman 
of the middle age, with a fine broad forehead, eyes full of mild 
and intelligent light, and an expression of countenance betok- 
ening a calm, high-toned, resolute spirit. There was a deep 
scar upon his cheek, but it diminished very little the placid 
beauty of his face ; and his tall, manly form, and graceful, 
dignified carriage, seemed to speak the soldier and the gentle- 
man. At his knee stood a beautiful little girl of eight or nine 
years of age, half reclining on his bosom, and looking up with 
her large, dark, speaking eyes into his face, while he gazed 
down upon her, and played with the shining curls of her hair. 
She had no mother, and the memory of buried affections min- 
gled with and deepened the tenderness of the surviving parent 
for his only child. Her light prattle seemed like music to his 
ear, though he was a man of high" thoughts and commanding 
intellect. But all really great men have loved children. 

In the midst of their conversation, the door of the room, 
in which they sat near the window, opened quietly, and a 
man entered, booted and spurred. It was the wanderer, whom 
I have mentioned, over so many parts of France ; and as soon 
as he appeared, Monsieur de Castelnau kissed the fair fore- 
head of his child, and sent her from him. 

When she was gone, La Renaudie approached the master 
of the house, and said, in a low voice, 

" The day is the fifteenth of March ; the place, Blois. 
How many men do you think you can bring ?" 

" Some hundred and fifty," replied the Lord of Castelnau; 
" but I think it needless, and even hazardous, to bring them 
in arms. I have read the paper that you gave me, and see 
nothing in the resolutions taken that could compromise my 
loyalty or my faith. I presume that the names affixed to 
that paper are a guarantee that no more is intended than is 
there set down." 

" Nothing, upon my honor," replied La Renaudie. 

" If so, why then go in arms ?" demanded the Lord of Cas- 



14 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

telnau. " The gentlemen, of course, will bear their usual 
weapons ; but why should they arm their tenants, if the in- 
tention be merely to prove to the king the sense of the great 
mass of the people ?" 

" Because, with the rule under which we live," replied La 
Renaudie, " the highways of France are no longer safe. Dy- 
ing vipers will bite ; and as soon as these men find that their 
last hour is coming, they will assuredly strive to strike some 
blow, either for vengeance or for safety. It may fall upon 
me ; it may fall upon you ; but the only means to render it 
harmless to any, or perhaps to avert strife altogether, is to go 
prepared for resistance, and to make sure that no one party 
of true-hearted men be cut off by the way in going to pull 
down a tyrant." 

"Perhaps you are right," replied the Lord of Castelnau, 
after a short pause. " Perhaps you are right," he repeated, 
thoughtfully ; " but let me order you some refreshment." 

" No," replied La Renaudie ; " I must forward upon my 
way. I have these seven-and-thirty noble gentlemen to see 
before nightfall. The whole of France is with us, except the 
creatures of^the Guise." 

Thus saying, he turned away. The Lord of Castelnau re- 
called his child, arid listened, sometimes with attention, some- 
times absently, to her innocent talk. The wanderer sped on 
from chateau to chateau, and from house to house, staying 
but a few moments at each, till night fell. The next morn- 
ing found him following the same career, but approaching 
nearer and nearer to Paris as he went. The wind and the 
rain beat upon him. The snow carne down and flecked his 
black horse's sides. The morning light found him in the sad- 
dle : at the close of day he was still hurrying on. 

At length, on quitting the door of a large mansion, at the 
distance of a few leagues from Paris, he murmured, " Well, 
that is done," and tore into small fragments a long list of 
names which seemed to have guided him on the way. 

He then rode forward, and entered the city just after night- 
fall. Through the dark and narrow streets, with the tall 
houses rising up story above story on either hand, without a 
gleam of light to show the way, except when some careful 
citizen, picking his steps over the muddy stones by the glare 
of a lantern, drew back against the houses to avoid being 
splashed by the passing horse's feet, La Renaudie rode on till 
he came to the quarter in which stands the Palais de Justice. 
There, in a small, tortuous street at the back of the great 



FRANCE AMBOISE. 15 

building, he drew in the rein before a melancholy-looking 
house, with a great, yawning porte cochere, which was not 
opened to him till he had knocked frequently At length a 
porter appeared, and, seeming to recognize the visitor, threw 
the gates back. But La Renaudie dismounted m the street ; 
and, giving the rein to the man, he said, 

" Take the horse over to the Swan, Barbe, and let it be 
well cared for. I will find my way up alone." 

The porter did as he was directed ; and the visitor entered 
the small, confined court, from the bottom of which, one 
looked up toward the sky as if from the depth of a well. 
Though there was no light but the faint glimmer of a cloudy 
spring night above, he found his way to a small door at the 
further side of the court, and mounted the stairs, which pre- 
sented themselves immediately on entering. They were slip- 
pery with dirt, and uneven with much usage. There was a 
close, foul smell in the stair-case ; and no wind ever seemed 
to find its way in, except by the open door below. Step after 
step he went up, passed the first floor and the second, but 
halted at the third, and there knocked for admission. A door 
was opened by a neat, jimp-bodiced peasant girl, who smiled 
to see him, and, on asking if Maitre Avenelles was at home, 
she answered, 

" Yes, Sieur Renaudie, he is in his little study. 
The light which was in her hand served to show the way 
along a narrow passage, with branches here and there, and 
manifold doors upon the right and left. It was evidently a 
large apartment or floor in one of the great old houses ot a 
part of Paris, then principally inhabited by advocates and 
men of the robe. The visitor seemed to know it well, how- 
ever, for he walked straight on ; and, finding his way to a 
door, nearly at the end of the passage, he opened it, and went 
straight in, without knocking. 

A pale, middle-aged man was seated at a table, reading a 
book. His face and his figure seemed wasted by thought and 
study ; and the expression of his countenance was grave and 
anxious. He started, as the door opened, with a nervous sort 
of jerk ; but when he saw who it was, his whole face bright- 
ened up, and he shook La Renaudie warmly by the hand. 

" I could not think what had become of thee, old school- 
fellow," he said. " Thou hast not been here these lour 
months ; and I feared thou wert in some new trouble. 1 ne 
room is always ready, and I am right glad to see thee. 
come, we will both wash our hands, for thou art dusty with 



16 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

one dry road and I with another, and then we will have some 
supper, and a bottle or two of the old Burgundy which thou 
lovest so well." 

" Agreed, Avenelles, agreed," replied La Renaudie, in a 
very different tone from that in which he spoke to other men. 
" I have been living the life of an anchorite for the last three 
months, never venturing to take more than two finger-breadths 
of wine to a glass of pure water, lest any thing should escape 
my lips that I might afterward wish unspoken." 

" Ha, ha !" said Avenelles, with a laugh. " What, plot- 
ting, plotting ? Thou wilt bring thyself to mischief some 
day." 

" Or make my fortune and save my country," answered 
La Renaudie ; but at that moment the servant girl appeared ; 
and he followed her to a good large chamber, containing a 
heavy, old-fashioned bed. 

In half an hour more La Renaudie and Avenelles were 
seated at a small, well-dressed supper, for the advocate loved 
life and the good things thereof. The Burgundy was excel- 
lent, and they both drank deep ; but La Renaudie did not 
forget himself that night. 

The next morning the advocate had to attend the courts 
early, to plead in a cause which he expected would detain 
him all day ; and he parted with his friend and school-fellow, 
telling him they would meet again at supper. The cause 
was tried and decided sooner than he expected ; and when he 
returned, La Renaudie was out. Soon after Avenelles heard 
his step as he came in, and proceeded toward his chamber. 
Then there were other steps going in the same direction. A 
man passed along the passage, carrying something that jin- 
gled like pieces of iron as he went. Avenelles looked out and 
saw that it was an armorer's boy, loaded with several sorts 
of weapons. 

All the morning something of the same kind went on. 
Visitor after visitor entered La Renaudie's chamber, remained 
a few minutes with him, and then departed ; and the curios- 
ity of the advocate was aroused. 

He determined to find out what it all meant. He dared 
not ask La Renaudie openly, for he had much reverence and 
some fear for his old school-fellow the reverence and fear 
which the timid and the cunning feel for the bold and the 
decided, even while they undervalue their intellect, and read 
them homilies on their rashness. He determined to trust to 
wine and good-fellowship, saying to himself, " La Renaudie 



FRANCE AMBOISE. 17 

will trust me if any man upon earth. I am his oldest friend 
in the world. Perhaps he has something in hand by which 
I may benefit. We are cruelly oppressed here in France, it 
is true ; and we poor advocates suffer more than any other 
class, what between one extortion and another. I ought to 
have been a master of requests by this time." 

The hour of supper came. The Burgundy was there, the 
nice little well-dressed meal, with many a provocative to 
drinking. The tidy maid set the dishes on the table and dis- 
appeared. Avenelles began his approaches prudently. At 
first he talked of matters he had heard mentioned in the 
courts, of the creation and sale of several new offices for the 
purpose of raising money, of a new order, issued by the house 
of Guise, forbidding any one to bring complaints or remon- 
strances to the king, under pain of the royal displeasure and 
of punishment. La Renaudie knew him to be a discontent- 
ed man, and replied in such a way as he thought would irri- 
tate him still more against the court ; but still he knew him 
also to be a timid man, who would serve no party well till 
he saw its success assured, and therefore he was cautious. 
He agreed with his complaints ; he joined in his murmurs ; 
but for the tune he told him nothing. The wine flowed ; 
both drank steadily ; and gradually, as Avenelles saw that it 
had its effect in loosening the bonds which La Renaudie 
placed upon his tongue, he led him on skillfully, still plying 
him with the juice of the grape. From speaking of grievan- 
ces, they began to talk of how wrongs might be redressed ; 
and the advocate7 as well as his companion, feeling the influ- 
ence of the wine, spoke hopefully of the future. They agreed 
that the time must come when the people of France would 
throw off the yoke, and that, sooner or later, some great effort 
must be made to free the state from the oppressive family 
which sat upon it like an incubus. 

Encouraged by the tone of his companion, and thrown off 
his guard by the first stage of drunkenness, La Renaudie, at 
length, told the advocate that the time had already come, 
that men were prepared to hurl the obnoxious house of Guise 
to the ground, and that the month of March would not pass 
without a catastrophe which would give liberty to France. 

The surprise in Avenelles' countenance first woke La 
Renaudie to a sense of his imprudence, and he would tell 
him no more. His thoughts, too, he perceived, were not clear. 
He recognized the effect of the grape, and he put away the 
full glass untasted. But it was too late. 



18 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

On the following morning La Renaudie quitted Paris. 

Avenelles woke, feeling feeble and depressed. He had 
gone to bed with vague visions of prosperity and success, and 
whirling, beautiful changes floating before his eyes, like moats 
crossing a sunbeam. But the wine had now lost its power, 
and he was anxious and out of spirits. He was burdened 
with a heavy secret. He was full of fears for himself and 
others. He knew enough to feel alarm, but not to derive 
confidence. A great fabric seemed, to his imagination, to be 
falling to pieces around him ; and he thought he might be 
crushed to death in the ruins. For three days he bore the 
load about with him in silence, pondering, meditating, trem- 
bling. Whenever he thought of it his heart failed him. It 
took away his appetite. It distracted his thoughts. Wine 
gave but a temporary relief; and when the excitement was 
over, the depression was more great. He would have given 
the world to see La Renaudie again ; but by this time he 
was far away in the Vendomois. Avenelles sought something 
to lean against, like all weak men. He would fain have 
shared the responsibility which oppressed him with another, 
forgetting that by merely putting a burden on another man's 
shoulders, we do not relieve our own. 

At length it became insupportable ; and, as if moved by 
despair, he hurried away to the house of a man named Mar- 
magne. He was a shrewd, cool, cautious courtier; an epi- 
curean in his principles, but a little more licentious than Epi- 
curus, and not quite so strict in his notions of justice as a 
magistrate should be. He was only a master of requests, 
however ; but it was a lucrative office ; and he owed it to the 
kindness of the Cardinal of Lorraine. There was some friend- 
ship between him and the Advocate Avenelles, for at heart 
they were both of the same school of philosophy ; and the lat- 
ter met with a very gracious reception, and was listened to 
with every mark of kindness and respect. 

Before he left the house, however, Marmagne extorted 
from him a promise that he would set off at once to convey 
his own confession to the Duke of Guise at Blois. It was 
the only means, he assured him, that could now save him 
from torture and decapitation. He took care to assure him- 
self that the promise was fulfilled, for he set a man to watch 
the movements of Avenelles, and to follow him on horseback, 
stage by stage, to Blois. He had every cause, however, to 
be satisfied with the haste and exactness of his terrified peni- 
tent. Avenelles set out that very night, and hurried post to 



FRANCE AMBOISE. 19 

Blois. But there he was disappointed in his expectation. 
Rumors had got abroad of plots and conspiracies. No one 
knew whence they arose, or on what ground they rested. 
They seemed but mere shadows, phantoms of the popular 
imagination ; but they attested the existence of great discon- 
tent ; and the Duke of Guise wisely removed the court from 
Blois to the better defended city of Amboise. The king, his 
young and beautiful wife, her gallant, depraved, and ambitious 
uncles, had set out three days before Avenelles reached the 
city of Blois ; and such was the impatient terror he felt, that 
he would not rest even for one night, till he had disburdened 
himself of his perilous secret. ' He set out on the same night 
for Amboise ; and the courier of Monsieur Marmagne follow- 
ed him at a little distance. The poor wretch knew that he 
was watched ; but he was now in the toils, and he could not 
struggle free without a greater effort than he had strength to 
make. 



CHAPTER IV. 

AMBOISE. 

MERRIMENT and pastime had reigned in the fine old city 
of Amboise, with even more complete sway over the minds 
of court and people than they had exercised at Blois. Grave 
persons had exhibited themselves in ludicrous pageants. Dis- 
tinguished warriors had played the part of buffoons. There 
had been feasts and revelry, and jousts, and running at the 
ring. All thoughts of danger, all memory of the rumored 
conspiracies seemed to have died away ; and it was evidently 
the design of the two great brothers of Lorraine to wrap the 
young king of France in pleasures, and to withdraw his mind 
from all knowledge of state affairs, and all share in the task 
of government. If any thing seemed to cloud the brightness 
of those days, it was a certain indefinite anxiety in the minds 
of the people regarding the state of the young monarch's 
health. What it was that caused it, no one could well tell. 
Tall, graceful, active, he appeared in the courtly circle, so 
little changed from what he had been as a boy, that no indi- 
cation of failing powers could be gathered from his general 



20 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

appearance. His cheek was a little paler, it is true, but not 
so much so as to cause any alarm. Then, when seated beside 
his young queen the loveliest of the lovely love, and happi- 
ness, and life seemed sparkling in his eyes. All his words 
were joyous, and every tone full of delight. It is true, that 
when absent from her, even when engaged in the merriest 
pastimes, there would come a shade of deep melancholy over 
him, an absent look, a sad and thoughtful air, passing away 
quickly as soon as he was roused, but ay returning when his 
mind was not busily occupied. Men interpreted this accord- 
ing to their own thoughts. Some said that it was love made 
the cheek pale and the mind meditative, and others would 
have it that he was weary of the rule of the house of Guise, 
that he sought to be a king in deed, to sway his own scepter, 
and to rule his own land. 

Be that as it may, morning, and noon, and afternoon of the 
fourth day from the court's arrival at Amboise, had passed 
away in every sort of amusement that could be devised. 
Night fell ; and in a small round cabinet, decorated with 
every thing costly, graceful, or luxurious, that art could sup- 
ply or wealth could purchase, sat a tall, handsome, dignified 
man, dressed in a crimson robe, with a small square velvet 
bonnet on his head. His face was remarkably beautiful ; but 
there was a fierce, stern, remorseless expression spread over it 
all, not to be fixed down or limited to any one feature, which 
affected more or less every other expression as it passed. All 
the rest were transient ; this was permanent. It was like the 
specter of a diseased imagination, which is seen through every 
other object that passes before the eyes. If he read, it was 
there. If he prayed, it was still present. If he discoursed, 
it was apparent. If he laughed, it mingled with each smile 
which came upon his lip. 

He was now reading by the light of a thick wax taper ; 
and it would have seemed that the thin book before him 
amused him much, by the merry look with which he read. 
The door opened ; and a man of great height, enormous 
strength, and dignified carriage entered, dressed with much 
splendor, and wearing a jeweled collar of gold rings round his 
neck. The cardinal raised his eyes for an instant, and then 
went on reading. The other approached him with a slow 
and stately step, and, looking over his shoulder, gazed upon 
the lines beneath his eyes. As he did so, however, the ex- 
pression of his countenance became very different from that 
of the other. Wrath and indignation were upon it. 






FRANCE AMBO IS E. 21 

" This is too bad," he said, pointing to the page. " The 
man must be discovered and punished." 

The other only laughed ; and then there was a low knock 
at the door of the cabinet. Neither of the two gentlemen 
heeded it at first, but went on talking about the libel which 
lay before them. The knock was repeated at the end of a 
few minutes ; and then the Duke of Guise, raising his voice, 
bade the applicant come in. 

It was a servant who appeared ; and he came to say that 
a man of the name of Avenelles had arrived at the castle, an 
advocate of the royal court, bearing a letter from Maitre Mar- 
magne, master of request in Paris, but on the letter was writ- 
ten " Life and Death." 

" It is strange," said the Duke of Guise, thoughtfully, "how 
objects increase or diminish in size by the height from which 
we look at them. My life for it, that which is matter of life 
and death to a master of requests will seem but a feather 
blown by the wind to you and me. Let the man come to- 
morrow. We are busy." 

" There are no such things as trifles," said the Cardinal of 
Lorraine. " Marmagne is shrewd too, though a sad glutton. 
We had better attend to a warning from such a hand. Bring 
me the letter, and let the man wait." 

In a few minutes, the letter was in the hand of the cardi- 
nal; and in a few minutes more, Avenelles himself was 
brought up the stairs and sent into the cabinet. The door 
was closed behind him, and no one but the two brothers 
and himself knew what passed. At the end of a quarter of 
an hour, however, the door was again opened ; and the stern 
voice of the Duke of Guise was heard, exclaiming, " Send up 
a guard !" 

The guard was soon upon the spot ; and pale, trembling, 
with tears in his eyes and terror in his look, Avenelles was 
removed to a dungeon, cursing his own cowardice, and feel- 
ing too late that courage is the best means of safety. 

From that moment a strange change came over the whole 
court at Amboise. There was no more security ; there were 
no more sports and pageants. All was bustle, activity, con- 
sternation, and no little confusion. Couriers were sent off in 
every direction. The Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of 
Lorraine sat up all night writing or consulting ; the chan- 
cellor, Olivier, was called to their councils ; the guards were 
doubled at the gates of the castle and of the town, and at an 
early hour on the following morning the young king was be- 



22 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

sought to be present, while some great and important events 
were brought under consideration. 

It was necessary now to inform him that his people were 
discontented, that there was disaffection in the land and dan- 
ger in the times. It was necessary, also, that the council 
should be made aware that men were already taking arms in 
various parts of France for some great but ill-defined object. 
It was the policy of the house of Guise to prevent that object 
from being clearly defined ; and when the council met, all 
the rhetorical art of the Cardinal of Lorraine and all the more 
manly and soldier-like eloquence of the Duke of Guise were 
employed to prove that the threatened insurrection was mere- 
ly the effort of a faction to throw off legitimate rule. 

The truth, however, made itself felt, though it was not 
spoken. The council, whose functions had been usurped al- 
most entirely by the brothers of Lorraine, was anxious to di- 
minish their authority and re-establish the rule of law ; and 
it was decided that messengers should instantly be sent to the 
princes of the blood royal and to the heads of the great house 
of Chatillon, requiring their immediate presence in Amboise, 
to afford their sovereign advice and support. 

The cardinal and the duke made no opposition, for their 
plans were already formed ; and in a step, intended to diminish 
their influence, they saw a means of crushing the most for- 
midable of their enemies. Conde, Coligni, D'Andelot, once 
within the walls of Amboise, were more or less in the power 
of the house of Guise ; and with an open insurrection in the 
land, it was little to be doubted that some pretext would be 
found for using that power. 

The messengers were accordingly dispatched at once with- 
out a dissenting word ; but when the soft, melodious voice of 
the king was heard proposing the only step which could at 
that moment have averted strife and bloodshed ; when he 
suggested that it would be better for his princely cousins of 
Guise and Lorraine to retire from Amboise, and thus allow 
him to judge whether his people were disaffected toward his 
own person, or discontented with their acts, the brothers saw 
that the whole fabric of their power was in danger ; and they 
treated the expressed will of their sovereign with scornful in- 
attention. 

Conde, Coligni, D'Andelot, without hesitation or fear, hur- 
ried to Amboise ; and the voice of the admiral was boldly 
raised against the oppressors of the people, demanding toler- 
ance in religion and respect for the law. A great part of the 



FRANCE AMBOISE 23 

council joined with him. The queen mother supported his 
views from enmity toward the Duke of Guise. The chan- 
cellor eagerly aided the cause of justice and reason, and an 
edict was promulgated which promised very moderate tolera- 
tion and the redress of some grievances, It was neither suf- 
ficiently vigorous nor sufficiently timely. The conspirators 
were already in arms. Innumerable bands were pouring for- 
ward upon Amboise from different parts of France ; and the 
Prince de Conde had been followed into the town itself by a 
considerable body of armed attendants^jjl' " men of execu- 
tion" 

The situation of Guise and his brother was perilous ; but 
they were vigorous, bold, and unscrupulous. They possessed 
the ear of the young king, notwithstanding their contempt for 
his authority ; and they had the whole military power of 
France at their disposal. All that they wanted was knowl- 
edge. Avenelles could tell them little. Torture could not 
wring from him more than he knew ; but he pointed out one 
who could tell them more ; a man named Linieres, who had 
been three times with La Renaudie in Paris. He was brought 
to Amboise, pardoned, bribed ; and he laid before them the 
whole scheme. A large body, unarmed, was to enter Am- 
boise, and present a petition to the king for full redress. The 
armed bands of cavalry and infantry were to surround the 
town on every side. Certain gates were to be seized ; and 
co-operation was to be provided within the town itself. The 
Duke of Guise and his brother were to be seized, the Prince 
de Conde put at the head of the government ; and then were 
to follow trials, banishments, and executions, as might after- 
ward be advised. The routes of the various bands, their 
places of rendezvous, the part which each was to play, the 
gates which were to be seized, the parts of the castle garden 
that were to be attacked, were all displayed before the eyes 
of the brothers of Lorraine ; and nothing remained but vigor- 
ous and energetic action. 

Troops flowed into Amboise like rivers flowing into the sea. 
The gates which were to be seized were walled up. The 
guards at the castle were changed. The walls were manned 
and strengthened. The garden of the castle was secured, 
and bodies of cavalry were sent out with precise orders as to 
where and how they were to act. Letters were dispatched 
to the king's lieutenants in various provinces to disperse and 
cut to pieces any bands of armed men not actually soldiers of 
the king, who were found traversing the country. 



24 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Coligni, D'Andelot, Conde saw that the conspiracy was 
discovered. But what could they do ? They were as pris- 
oners in a garrisoned town. Every movement was watched ; 
and armed men dogged them wherever they went. - 

Still, large bodies of men from every province poured on to- 
ward Amboise. They were ignorant of the fatal preparations 
made against them. Intelligence reached them slowly. They 
knew the places where they were to halt, the bands with 
which they were to co-operate, the object at which they were 
to aim, but they knew no more. Onward they came in de- 
tached troops, of various numbers, from twenty to two or 
three hundred ; and rumors of their rapid approach spread 
through Amboise, and filled the court and the citizens with 
apprehension. The Duke of Guise, however, and his brother 
walked proudly, and looked calm ; and it was rumored, that 
on this night or on that, a band of men at arms had gone 
forth from one gate or another in silence and in secrecy. 

The result was soon seen. Guards of soldiers arrived, drag- 
ging along prisoners with their hands tied. Hundreds and 
hundreds were brought in, and the work of massacre com- 
menced. There was no investigation, no tnal, no sentence. 
They had been taken in arms that was enough ; and the 
cord, and the bullet, and the sword did its work. They were 
hung from the spouts and windows of the castle. They were 
shot in the open streets. They were hewn down in the mark- 
et-place. You could turn nowhere without seeing a corpse. 
You could not take a step without setting your foot in a pool 
of blood. 

Horror and anguish spread through the tenderer hearts 
within the walls of Amboise. Surely, surely, mercy, if not 
justice, may be heard ! 

Lo ! in that courtly saloon with the hangings of violet and 
gold, kneels a lovely and gentle girl at the feet of the young 
king. Grave men and fair women stand around her, listening 
eagerly to her eloquent words, while the tears fall over her 
cheeks, and her hands are lifted up in supplication. 

It is a queen pleading to her husband for mercy to his sub- 
jects. It is the beautiful being destined to fall beneath the 
ax herself, trying to avert it from the heads of others. 

She has succeeded. The edict is prepared, the king's 
name written. Mercy to all who lay down their arms and 
retire peaceably ! But hardly is the ink dry, hardly has the 
sun set, when a small body of the conspirators is found in Am- 
boise. What drove them there, how they gained admission, 



FRANC E A M B O I S E. 25 

whether the fierceness of pursuit, or the treacherous conniv- 
ance of their enemies, none can say. But there they are. 
They are attacked, cut down, defend themselves, die. The 
cry is raised that the king's mercy is despised. The edict is 
revoked ; and the order goes forth to slay without pity. Arm- 
ed and unarmed are hunted through the fields, put to death, 
brought in as prisoners those who trusted in the edict and 
were returning tranquilly to their homes, as well as those who 
never heard of it. 

A few were permitted, by the lenity of some officers, to es- 
cape, we are told. A few ! good God ! a few out of several 
hundred thousand men ! The streets of Amboise were crowd- 
ed with captives. Executioners were found in less numbers 
than victims. The arm grew weary and the heart sick ; but 
there was no mercy in the breast of those who now command- 
ed in Amboise. They had conspired against the power of 
the Guises, and they were traitors. They were enemies, and 
they must die. They tied them hand and foot, and they hurl- 
ed them in crowds into the Loire. The river, already red 
with blood, was now choked with corpses. 

But we must change the scene, though the tragedy is not 
yet over. 

M& : 'n< f 'f -fiti f:vi, : '..> >';!/;} c) ton 



til V 

* 1 i" f rfV 

CHAPTER V. 

i]fr& V*.r" i wrt:* .: ";;/! ^liur w^ ,R 3;id 

AMBOISE. 

THROUGH a fair, rich country, bright in the first smiles of 
spring, the Lord of Castelnau led a gallant troop of brave and 
honest men. A number of the inferior gentlemen of his neigh- 
borhood accompanied a leader distinguished in arms, well 
known for honorable and upright dealing, a man on whose 
name there was no dark spot, in whose heart there was no 
guile. Well received were they wherever they came. Ev- 
ery thing was honorably paid for which they took. Order, 
discipline, and courtesy marked the demeanor of all ; and the 
peasantry eagerly sought to furnish them with whatever was 
needed, and to forward them on the way. On the morning 
of the third day's march, however, rumors reached them of 
skirmishes having taken place here and there, and of royal 

B 



26 



DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



troops being in the field. The Lord of Castelnau *s brow be- 
came grave, for he felt all the responsibility of his position ; 
and in the afternoon, just as he was mounting his horse, after 
having refreshed his men at a village on the Loire, a peasant 
ran eagerly up to him and gave him some intelligence in a 
whisper. It was that a party of some thirty armed men had 
just been cut to pieces by a body of the king's troops, on the 
edge of a wood some five miles distant. 

Castelnau at once communicated to those who accompa- 
nied him the tidings he had received, adding, " This shows 
the necessity of being armed, gentlemen ; for, in such cases, 
the minions of a court make few distinctions." 

" What do you propose to do, sir ?" demanded one of hit 
companions. 

" Go forward/' replied the Lord of Castelnau, with a look 
of some surprise. " There are many noble gentlemen, our 
friends and confederates, who rely upon our co-operation. We 
must not deceive them. We know our intentions to be loyal. 
We are a hundred and fifty stout men at arms ; and I my- 
self would not turn back before double that number, which is 
more than the house of Guise can send against us. I think 
you can trust to me, gentlemen, to give no real offense, and 
not to take offense needlessly. You can trust to me also, I 
hope, to lead you in the hour of danger ; and be assured I will 
be as careful of your honor, your interests, and your safety, as 
if you were my own children." 

They all exclaimed that they knew it ; and they followed 
him on without a murmur or a doubt. They had advanced 
but a few miles further, when, across the setting sun on their 
left, they saw a body of horse maneuvering as if to reconnoi- 
ter them. It was not numerous, however, consisting of some 
forty or fifty men at the most ; but the Lord of Castelnau 
would not show his flank to an enemy, although inferior, and 
deviating a little from the direct road, he advanced straight 
upon the party he had seen. His approach was not waited 
for ; the adverse force retreated rapidly ; and he pursued his 
way uninterrupted. When seated in the little village inn at 
night, one day's march from Amboise, a messenger was 
brought to him, bearing a letter. It contained but few words, 
and was signed La Renaudie. Haste was evident; and 
Monsieur de Castelnau thought he perceived traces of strong 
anxiety. The letter urged him to advance with all speed to 
the Chateau of Nois6, near Amboise, taking care, however, to 
avoid the town of Montrichard. 



FRAN C E A M B O I S E. 27 

" We are here in possession of a strong point," said La Re- 
naudie ; " but the bands come slowly in. Speed, I entreat 
you. Adieu !" 

The next morning early, half an hour before sunrise, in- 
deed, the Lord of Castelnau was in the saddle. To avoid 
Montrichard implied a considerable circuit ; but intelligence 
had come in during the night ; and he had learned that the 
Duke of Guise was proclaimed lieutenant general of the king- 
dom, and that a large body of his troops were on the right 
bank of the Cher. Taking the road, therefore, by Sublaine 
and Blize, he advanced as fast as possible, nor met with any 
impediment by the way. The country in that quarter seem- 
ed clear of all enemies, although, at every village, some fresh 
rumor of moving bands and fierce skirmishes reached him. 
Before night fell, the town of Amboise, with its castle on the 
height, appeared clear against the evening sky ; and, guided 
by a lad, who knew the country well, the Lord of Castelnau 
and his troop turned away from the high road, just as dark- 
ness was gathering thick around, to seek the Chateau of Noise. 

Situated in the midst of woods and meadows, on a rising 
ground which commanded the approaches in all directions. 
Noise was well calculated for either defense or concealment ; 
and the Lord of Castelnau little doubted that he would there 
find a very considerable body of men under the command of 
La Renaudie. He was surprised, however, as with tired 
horses he advanced slowly through the woods, to meet with 
no outposts, and to see no sign of military precaution. Be- 
yond the walls of the castle, not a man appeared ; and, though 
challenged on his approach to the gates, he and his whole 
troop were admitted instantly. On riding in, he saw no cause 
to fear that their quarters would be crowded. There might 
be a hundred men or more within the place, but certainly not 
two hundred ; and Castelnau immediately sought a private 
interview with La Renaudie, to ascertain the exact position 
of affairs. 

They stood alone in a small room of one of the turrets, with 
a single light between them ; and Castelnau gazed upon the 
other's face with a searching look. " How is this, La Re- 
naudie?" he asked. "I had hoped to find you better fur- 
nished with men." 

La Renaudie's face was bold and confident. 

"Do not be alarmed," he said. "They come in slowly, 
but they are all marching on. A few small bands have been 
destroyed by some of the tyrants' parties ; but from the side 



28 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

of Nantes there is a large force coming up ; and a smaller, 
but most serviceable body from Niort, should have been here 
this evening. I am under some anxiety on account of the 
delay, for they are badly furnished with arms, of which we 
have abundance here to equip ten thousand men. If they do 
not arrive within two hours, I shall go out with a party to 
look for them. Indeed, I should have gone this -morning to 
give them escort ; but I could not leave the chateau unde- 
fended, with such valuable stores within." 

Castelnau mused. " Better go at once," he said at length. 
" We must endeavor to collect a larger force at some one point, 
otherwise we may be cut to pieces in detail, and never have 
an opportunity of presenting the petition at all." 

A faint smile passed over La Renaudie's face at the word 
petition ; but he took no other notice of it, and would insist 
on seeing to the refreshment of Monsieur de Castelnau and 
his troop. His hospitality had a tendency to deviate into 
revelry; but Castelnau was uneasy: no fresh bartd arrived; 
and he twice put La Renaudie in mind of his purpose before 
the other would act upon it. 

At length, however, the latter gathered together almost all 
the men who had been in the chateau when Castelnau ar- 
rived, and set out, with horses fresh and full of fire from two 
days' inactivity, leaving the chateau, and all that it contained, 
in charge of the Lord of Castelnau. The whole night went 
by without any tidings of his progress, and" the whole of the 
following day. Castelnau sent out some*mall parties to make 
inquiries ; but nothing could be heard of La Renaudie and 
his band. 

Would the reader desire to know what became of them ? 
It is easily told. Gayly, and at a quick pace, undismayed by 
any dangers, and persisting against every loss, La Renaudie 
marched on for several leagues during the darkness of the 
night. Just as morning dawned, he halted his troop, at a 
small village, and refreshed the men and horses. No news 
had been heard of the people from Niort ; but, while they 
were at the village, a small party, consisting of three or four 
men on horseback, was seen on the acclivity of a hill to the 
right. The insurgent immediately sent out to ascertain who 
or what they were ; but they instantly retired ; and, after a 
short pause, La Renaudie recommenced his march. He had 
not gone three miles, however, and was just entering a piece 
of meadow ground, watered by a rivulet, with a somber wood 
on the left, and a bed of osiers on the right, when he saw 



FRANCE AMBOISE. 29 

straight before him, coming round the angle of the wood, a 
body of the royal men-at-arms, nearly double his own party 
in number. At their head there was a flag, or guidon, as it 
was then called, which he knew right well, and a figure which 
was equally familiar to him : that of his own cousin, Par- 
daillon. 

La Renaudie was a man of no hesitation. " Upon them !" 
he cried, turning to his men, and drawing his sword, for lance 
he had none at that moment; "upon them! We shall have 
them a cheap bargain in their disarray." 

On he dashed without hesitation, and without any further 
preparation. It was his cousin whom he himself charged ; 
and, spurring forward upon him with fiery haste and remm-se- 
less resolution, he slew him with his own hand at the very 
head of his troop. He was followed close by his companions, 
and the fight in an instant was fierce and general. But it 
lasted not long. 

There was a young page, a boy not seventeen years old, 
who had ridden immediately behind Monsieur de Pardaillon. 
He saw his lord fall ; he saw him writhe for a moment, and 
then lie still and heavy on the ground. The page had a pe- 
tronel in his hand. He struck his spurs deep into his horse's 
flank, brought the mouth of the weapon close to La Renau- 
die' s head, and fired. 

Through the steel cap, through the skull and brains, the 
ball tore its way ; and La Renaudie fell headlong from the 
saddle. No word had passed between him and his cousin, no 
word between the page and him. Pardaillon and La Re- 
naudie lay dead, side by side; arid the insurgents were cut 
down almost to a man. 



CHAPTER XII. 

.. - ~ - ^ '' 

AMBOISE. 

HEAVEN and earth were weary of witnessing bloodshed. 
The citizens of Amboise murmured aloud. The most faith- 
ful of the king's subjects and servants expressed their disgust ; 
and the Chancellor Olivier moved about the castle with the 
look of a specter, and an eye full of horror and dismay. None 



30 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

rejoiced but the house of Guise and its partisans. With them, 
every head that fell was the head of an enemy. The fabric 
of their power seemed built up by the corpses of the slain, and 
cemented by the blood that was shed. 

But yet their situation was not without its danger. Mul- 
titudes were still pressing forward from distant parts of France 
toward the town of Amboise. The royal troops had not 
escaped without suffering severe loss. The Castle of Noise 
was strong ; and it was known to contain resolute men, a 
vast store of arms, and abundance of provisions. It was a 
rallying point for the disaffected : a point of peril. 

Such was the situation when the body of La Renaudie was 
brought into the town and hanged over the center arch of the 
bridge, with the words " Chief of the Rebels" written on the 
breast. At the same time, however, intelligence was received 
that a body of nearly two thousand men, most of whom had 
seen service, was within two days' march of Amboise, and was 
directing its course straight toward Noise. Multitudes of other 
parties were scattered abroad over the land ready to unite with 
any larger force under any distinguished leader. It was, per- 
haps, the moment of the greatest danger ; and the duke and 
the cardinal consulted eagerly without witnesses. Then the 
chancellor was sent for, and then the Lord of Vielleville, an 
old and experienced soldier, a shrewd and clear-sighted poli- 
tician, a steady Catholic, but one who stood detached from 
party, too reasonable to be a zealot, too independent to be a 
tool. They proposed to him to take a small body of horse, 
which was all that could be spared from Amboise at a time 
when such numerous parties were scouring the country, and, 
going to Noise, endeavor to induce the Lord of Castelnau and 
his companions to lay down their arms, and come to present 
their petition to the king peaceably, upon promise of safety and 
free access. Vielleville looked toward the chancellor, whose 
eyes were still bent down upon the papers before him ; and then 
the old soldier boldly declined the task, not well assured that 
his plighted word, if given, would be respected.* 

A long consultation ensued ; and then James of Savoy, 
duke of Nemours, was sent for. The gay and gallant prince, 
bold, rash, and straight-forward, undertook the commission 
readily, glad to terminate by an act of grace, as he imagined, 
a scene of civil strife, especially when the person to whom he 
was sent was an old and valued friend, the Lord of Castelnau. 

* " Knowing the felony of the two brothers," say the Memoirs of 
Vielleville. 









FRANCE AMBOISE. 31 

He was soon at the head of his men-at-arms and upon the 
way. The distance was short, not much more than a league 
and a half; and he approached the Chateau of Noise just as 
the setting sun, within a palm's breadth of the horizon, filled 
the whole western sky with rosy light. He found the chateau 
prepared for vigorous defense ; and riding on alone, hefore the 
nead of his troop, he asked the sentry at the barbican to be 
permitted to speak with his friend, the Lord of Castelnau. In 
a few minutes Castelnau appeared above the gate ; and Ne- 
mours waved his hand to him with a cheerful air, saying, 
" How is it, my noble friend, that I find you here in arms 
against your king ? I could have believed it of any man but 
you." 

" I am not in arms against my king," replied Castelnau. 
" We come but to present to his majesty our humble remon- 
strances against the tyranny of the house of Guise." 

"Is it thus, with weapons in their hands," demanded the 
duke, " that the people of France should express their wishes 
to their monarch ? If you will lay down your arms, I promise 
you, upon my faith and honor, to take you at once to the pres- 
ence of the king, and to bring you back in safety." 

" I have companions within, whom I must consult," replied 
Castelnau. " Though I myself would trust implicitly to your 
word, they may be more careful." 

" Let me come in and reason with them," replied Nemours. 
" They shall have full assurance." 

He was admitted, with ten companions. He repeated the 
offer he had made. He plighted his honor and his faith to thd 
safety of those who would trust themselves with him, and he 
signed the engagement with his hand. The Lord of Castel- 
nau and fourteen of his friends mounted their horses in the 
court-yard, and, with a feeling of perfect security, rode away 
with Nemours at the head of his troop. 

In the gray twilight they reached the gates of Amboise, 
which opened at the approach of the duke. They rode through 
the street to the castle, and dismounted at the great entrance. 
But there had been people who had met the cavalcade at the 
gates of the town, and had run on before, to notify the com- 
: ng of the Lord of Castelnau. 

Side by side with his friend, the Duke of Nemours mounted 
the stone stair-case, and at the first ante-room left him to an- 
nounce his arrival, and to ask an audience of the king. But 
the door was not yet closed behind him, when a body of 
armed men entered the chamber, and a tall Gascon laid his 



32 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

hand on Castelnau's shoulder, saying, " I arrest you for high 
treason !" 

Castelnau raised his voice and pronounced the name of 
Nemours. The duke heard it in the passage, and turned 
back ; but when he came the room was vacant, and Castelnau 
slept in a dungeon. The Chateau of Amboise showed a scene 
of great confusion and dismay during the whole of that even- 
ing. Fury and indignation took possession of the Duke of 
Nemours. He had been made the base tool of a shameless 
conspiracy to betray his friend, a brave man, a distinguished 
soldier, an old and honorable servant of the crown, into the 
hands of merciless enemies. He argued, he remonstrated, he 
petitioned in vain. Men pitied him, but dared not speak ; but 
women's hearts and sympathies went with him warmly, and 
they are ever more bold in a noble cause. 

Again Mary Stuart knelt at her husband's feet. Even the 
monarch's ruthless mother interceded ; but Mary knelt, and 
Catharine pleaded in vain. Guise and the cardinal stood by 
the king's side, and Francis felt that he was but a cipher in 
their hands. 

On their faces alone was the look of satisfaction ; the calm, 
half-contemptuous smile, which told that the day was won and 
its dangers extinguished. But though peril was over, they 
were not men to spare ; and they spared not. Torture pre- 
ceded trial, but from the lips of Castelnau it wrung nothing ; 
and then came the condemnation and the preparation for death. 



CHAPTER VII. 

AMBOISE. 

IT was a clear March morning, with the wind somewhat 
high, but soft. One felt in it the breath of April. There 
was a great crowd in the market-place of Amboise, for the 
people had not seen an execution for five days, and that was 
a long period then. There was a scaffold in the midst of the 
market-place, and a number of the high dignitaries of the 
court were present ; for the house of Guise had determined 
that this last act of vengeance should be accompanied by all 
form and ceremony. Men in arms surrounded the scaffold on 



FRANCE AM BOISE. 33 

all sides. The bare-armed executioner stood leaning on his 
heavy ax. Two pale and trembling priests were there, and 
in the front three gentlemen of noble mien, bareheaded. They 
spoke together, and embraced ; and the Lord of Castelnau re- 
plied to some words which one of his friends whispered in his 
ear, 

" No : I will be the last. I have seen brave men die, and 
know how to meet death too ; but I have got a task to per- 
form which must be done, my friend, when you are in heaven." 

The gentleman to whom he spoke then turned to the block, 
threw off his doublet, and laid down his head. To the peo- 
ple he spoke no word, and to the executioner only said, 

" Strike boldly !" 

The ax fell ; the dark blood spouted forth ; and with an 
eye that did not wink, and his arms folded on his chest, the 
Lord of Castelnau gazed sternly on the murder of his friend. 

Another followed ; and the same tragedy was again enact- 
ed. But then Castelnau strode forward, and, turning to the 
people, exclaimed aloud, 

" In the face of earth and heaven, I proclaim James, duke 
of Nemours, and all who have abetted him in the death of 
these true and noble gentlemen, traitors, false, perjured, and 
man-sworn !" 

Then striding to the block, he dipped his hands in the warm 
blood, and raised them up to heaven. " God Almighty," he 
said, " seer of all hearts, thou to whom vengeance alone be- 
longs, witness the deeds done this day, and deal according to 
thy wisdom on our base betrayers. Give them measure for 
measure, and may this blood of thy servants not reek up to 
heaven in vain!" 

He laid his head upon the block, and in another moment 
it rolled in the dust. 

There is a man in a black robe, a man of mild and vener- 
able aspect, who turns away from that frightful scene with a 
pale cheek, a quivering lip, and a haggard eye. Officers and 
staff bearers precede him ; and several servants and attend- 
ants follow. He calls one of them to him, and leans upon the 
man's shoulder ; for his limbs are seized with trembling, as if 
a palsy had struck him, and will not bear him up. Let us 
follow him to his chamber in that high castle. He has lain 
him down upon his bed to die. In vain the surgeons and 
physicians crowd around him. In vain priests pour words 
into his ear. All the medicines of the pharmacy can bring 
no cure. All the eloquence of the priests can afford no con- 

B 2 



34 ~DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

solation to the smitten, heart-broken chancellor. The news 
that he is sick, that he is dying, spreads through the castle, 
and reaches the ears of the Cardinal of Lorraine. 

" I will go and visit him," said the scarlet sin ; and he went. 
He approached with a grave and sympathizing air, and a slow, 
light step ; but the Chancellor Olivier, as soon as he beheld 
him, like the despairing King of Israel, turned his face to the 
wall, and would not look on him. In mild and honeyed ac- 
cents the cardinal spoke to him for some ten minutes ; but he 
obtained no answer, and murmuring to himself, " He is speech- 
less, me thinks," Lorraine rose from the bedside, and walked 
away. 

His retreating steps caught the ear of the dying man ; and 
he turned his head round, with a look of fear and horror. He 
saw that he was gone ; and then he said, aloud, 

" Ah ! cursed cardinal, thou hast damned thyself, and made 
us also condemn ourselves to all eternity !" 

At the end of two days more, they bore a corpse from that 
same chamber, with unavailing honors, to the chapel of the 
castle ; and thus ended the tragedy of Amboise.* 

* All the facts stated in this paper on Amboise will be found in the 
memoirs of Vielleville, or those of Castelnau Mauvissierre, with some 
few particulars from Aubiguy, Belleforest, and other cotemporary, or 
nearly cotemporary writers. 



ENGLAND ARTHUR. 86 



ENGLAND, 



CHAPTER I. 

ARTHUR. 

SUMMER and sunshine, bright skies, rich fields, and fair scen- 
ery were all around. Pennons and banners were fluttering 
in the air. The Epte and the St. Aubin were glittering on 
toward their confluence. Thousands of horse and foot cov- 
ered the hilly ground on the bank of the river, with their 
bright arras and their gay dresses sparkling beneath the un- 
clouded sun. There was laughter and merriment too, and 
many a gay exclamation. It seemed no fierce, warlike expe- 
dition, but a great meeting of princes, knights, and soldiers 
upon some high festival. 

Such was the scene on one side ; but on the other the case 
was very different. On the grounds below that joyous party, 
and on the other bank of the stream, crowds were seen flying 
in terror and confusion from the wide-open gates of the town 
of Gournay ; women carrying children in their arms, or drag- 
ging them along in haste by the hand ; rich citizens and poor 
artizans running fast from the town, loaded with their most 
valuable effects ; knjghts and soldiers galloping away as speed- 
ily as their horses could carry them ; and yet no signs of war 
or strife, except the pennons and the banners ; no couched 
lance, no drawn bow, no sword waving in the air. 

What had become of the walls of Gournay, deemed almost 
impregnable ? Where were the battlements lately glittering 
with arms, and lined with strong defenders ? They lay in 
ruins all along the lower part of the town, without any mili- 
tary engine having been brought against them, without hav- 
ing been struck by catapult or mangonel. The dike which 
sustained the waters of the artificial lake above the city had 
been cut by orders of the shrewd and artful King of France ; 
and the deluge had swept all before it. Walls, and forts, and 
houses had given way. The meadows had become a sea, and 
every street a river. 



36 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

And there he sat upon his proud black horse, Philip of 
France, smiling at the easy destruction he had wrought. Im- 
pregnable Gournay was taken in a day ; and the first triumph 
of many was accomplished. 

By his side, mounted on a beautiful white barb, and glitter- 
ing in undented arms, was a fair lad some sixteen years of age. 
His face was gentle and mild in its expression, but his eyes 
full of fire and intelligence ; and as, with the beaver of his 
helmet up, he gazed at the scene of devastation, he laughed 
not with the war-hardened soldiers around ; he smiled not with 
the remorseless politician by his side. 

" Poor people," he said, " I fear many must perish." 

Philip answered not, but merely pointed with the finger of 
his gauntleted hand to the standard that waved above his 
head. He might mean that it must so wave over many such 
a scene of destruction before the thirst of his ambition was sated. 

Six hours passed, and the sun was sinking in the sky ; the 
waters had abated ; the streets were clear ; the town and its 
castle, no longer defensible, had sent out to seek mercy and 
make submission ; and with floating banners and ringing 
clarions, Philip of France, and Arthur of Brittany, the right- 
ful King of England if there was force in feudal law, rode into 
Gournay, and ascended toward the castle. At the gates stood 
an old knight, bareheaded, with the keys in his hand ; and, 
as Philip took them, he turned to his young companion with 
a fatherly smile, saying, 

"Here, in our first town taken, will I dub thee knight, 
dear boy, and may this be an augury to you and me of the 
recovery of all your dominions, while your union with my 
daughter shall prove an indissoluble bond between the crowns 
of France and England." 

Philip kept his word ; and on the morning of the following 
day, in the chapel of the castle, Arthur of Brittany knelt at 
the great monarch's feet, while he struck him on the shoulder 
with his sword, exclaiming, " In the name of God, St. Mi- 
chael, and St. George, I dub thee knight. Be faithful, true, 
and valiant !" 

He then threw over his shoulder a glittering scarf. Fair 
hands fixed the spurs upon his heels, and girt him with the 
knightly sword, while a page brought forward the glittering 
casque, on which appeared the humble badge of the proud 
Plantagenets, the branch of broom supported by the tradi- 
tional crest of the fabulous King Arthur, the lion, the unicorn, 
and the griffin, wrought in massy gold. 



ENGLAND ARTHUR. 37 

Round about stood a crowd of the highest nobles andmos* 
distinguished knights of the land, with many a lord of Brit 
tany, Poitou, and Maine. 

One by one, the vassals of the crown of England came for 
ward to do homage to the young prince ; and Philip,, seating 
him in his own chair, stood by his side to sanction and wit 
ness the oath. 

" I, Hugo le Brun, lord of Lusignan, count of La Marche, 
do liege homage to you, Arthur Plantagenet, my born lord 
and suzerain, for all the lands I hold or ought to hold of you, 
save always, and except the rights of our Lord Philip, king 
of France, his heirs and successors. I will yield you honora- 
ble service. I will ransom you in captivity. I will offer no 
evil to your wife or to your daughter, in your house dwelling, 
and to this I plight my faith as your true vassal,,and liege-man." 

Similar was the oath of each ; and Arthur, rising, took 
them, one by one as they did homage, by the hand, and gave 
them the kiss of peace. 

The ceremony was over and the banquet followed ; but, 
while lords and princes feasted, there was busy preparation 
going on ; for it was needful that the young knight should 
win renown in arms ; and he was going forth, aided by the 
chivalry of France, to strive for the conquest of the territory 
of his fathers. It was well known that a multitude of the 
vassals of the crown of England, disgusted with a prince with- 
out vigor or conduct, without honor or feeling, who had been 
a traitor to his brother and his friend, who was an oppressor 
of his vassals and his people, would rise in behalf of the young, 
amiable, and accomplished heir of Geoffrey Plantagenet ; and 
all that was wanted was money and men, to begin the strug- 
gle, which was certain to bring into its vortex every one who 
could draw a sword on either side. The money was supplied 
by Philip. Two hundred knights, and several bands of arch- 
ers were added ; and with high hopes, a gallant train, and 
every prospect of success, Arthur of Brittany set out for the 
banks of the Loire, to meet with a short gleam of triumph, 
and then reverse, captivity, and death. 



38 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY 



CHAPTER II. 

ARTHUR. 

As if on a gay party of pleasure, the new-made knight and 
his followers rode on from Gournay to Poissy, from Poissy to 
Chartres, from Chartres to Blois, from Blois to Tours. The 
merry sunshine of the mid-year was upon them, some of the 
brightest lands of France around ; and on the pleasant banks 
of the Loire, they seemed to drink in from the face of nature 
the inspiration to great deeds. At Tours, a general rendez- 
vous had been given to all on whose support the young prince 
fancied he could count ; but execution is ever slow by the 
side of expectation; and day by day went by without any 
great accession to his numbers. Hugh le Brim, who had left 
him to levy more men, rejoined him, it is true, on the first 
day after his arrival at Tours, with fifteen knights ; and on 
the following day, Raoul of Issoudun, with forty knights. Will- 
iam of Mauleon came with ^hirty, and with seventy men-at- 
arrns ; and Geoffrey de Lusignan brought in a force nearly 
equal. But still the number was small compared with that 
of John Lackland, who was at the head of nearly twenty 
thousand mercenaries. 

But then he was afar, at least so rumor said ; and distant 
dangers are seldom heeded by youth. Arthur was eager to 
win, and those who were with him were not men backward 
in confidence. Filled with the rash, gay, boasting spirit of 
the south, they had also many a high deed done in the past, 
arid many a memory of success, to cheer them onward to im- 
mediate enterprise. All, all cried aloud for action ; and the 
only question was, which way should their steps be directed ? 

It was soon decided. The Castle of Mirebeau was near at 
hand ; and in it Eleanor of Aquitaine, the mother of John, 
the grandmother of Arthur, the great supporter of the former, 
the pertinacious enemy of the latter, was said to make her 
abode, and to have stored up both gold and arms. It was 
resolved that Mirebeau should be attacked ; and thither, on 
a bright day of August, marched the princely boy in the fresh- 
ness of his chivalry. 



ENGLAND ARTHUR. 39 

The walls were strong and high. There were gallant de- 
fenders within ; and the resistance was vigorous, but not long. 
Each knight of Poitou was eager to distinguish himself in the 
cause of his newly-acknowledged sovereign, and Arthur him- 
self to win honor to his arms. 

This is not a book of sieges and battles. The walls were 
won, the city gained ; and the glad prince saw his first effort 
crowned with success. The castle still held out ; but there 
was every hope of soon overcoming its resistance. Nothing 
was heard but the gay voice of triumph ; and the pleasure- 
loving lords of Poitou gave themselves up to feasting and to 
revelry. Arthur rejoiced too. He had none with him to 
supply the forethought which youth wanted. He had gal- 
lant men, good soldiers, skillful officers, but none of those ex- 
perienced, gray-headed men, who found one success upon an- 
other. 

They wasted their time beneath the walls of the castle, 
skirmishing with the garrison by day, feasting and singing by 
night. It was what Eleanor desired. At the first sound of 
danger she had dispatched messengers to her son, calling for 
immediate aid ; and John showed himself for once prompt, 
energetic, and bold. By long, forced marches, he crossed the 
country at the head of a large force, taking means to conceal 
his* approach as far as possible. At some distance from Mire- 
beau he halted his troops, in order to take his nephew by sur- 
prise. Success attended him, for early in the morning, before 
the barons of Poitou were prepared ibr resistance, John was 
upon them. A small party, who either slept without the 
town, or went out at the first intelligence of an enemy's ap- 
proach, fought gallantly, and delayed for a moment the final 
catastrophe ; but, overwhelmed by numbers, they were driven 
back into the town, and John entered Mirebeau along with 
them. The resistance in the streets was not long ; and those 
who had been conquerors but a few days before, were now 
either corpses on the field, or prisoners in the hands of a mer- 
ciless tyrant. Though so often pardoned, John never learned 
to spare. The prisoners were sent to various different for- 
tresses, loaded with chains, subject to every sort of indignity 
and cruelty, to linger out existence in misery, or to perish by 
privation. Two-and-twenty noble gentlemen of Poitou, An- 
jou, and Maine, for following the standard of their natural 
prince, were carried like the basest criminals to a dungeon in 
Corfe Castle, and actually starved to death. 

Another fate awaited Arthur, who, while his sister, the lily 



40 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

of Bretagne, was sent to England, to wither for forty years in 
hopeless imprisonment, was conveyed to the Chateau Falaise, 
and kept a strict prisoner within its walls. There he had the 
pain of hearing that not one stroke was struck for his deliver- 
ance by him who had so lately bestowed knighthood upon 
him ; that, so far from it, Philip, as if struck with sudden 
fear at the disastrous day of Mirebeau, had raised the siege 
of Arques, arid retired with his army in confusion to Paris. 

Did the poor boy's heart give way ? Did hope yield to de- 
spair ? Did his courage and his firmness abandon him in the 
moment of disappointment and regret ? Far from it. The 
spirit of his race was in him. The unconquerable soul of his 
great uncle of the lion heart he had inherited, though not his 
dominions or his success ; and he sat in his lonely chamber, 
in the high tower of Falaise, dreaming still of empire. 

An autumn day was drawing to the close, and there were 
sounds of bustle and movement in Falaise. Clarions had been 
sounding : horses had been neighing and trampling below the 
tower ; and voices speaking, and the sound of many feet had 
risen up to the lonely chamber. The door opened ; and the 
graceful form, smooth, deceitful countenance, and cold, soul- 
less eye of John, his uncle and his captor, were before Arthur 
of Brittany. 

The boy rose ; and his face grew pale and then red ; and 
the two gazed at each other for an instant in silence. A 
frown gathered upon John's face ; but it passed away instant- 
ly, and he took a seat, with a soft and smiling air. Arthur 
seated himself too ; and the king began, with his sweet tones 
and his easy eloquence. 

" Arthur," he said, " I have come to reason with you, anx- 
ious to treat you with kindness rather than with harshness. 
I am your uncle, your nearest and dearest friend, your liege 
sovereign, your well-wisher. You have aUied yourself with 
the French king, the long-persisting enemy of your uncle Rich- 
ard, my persevering foe, the hereditary adversary of the En- 
glish crown. He has used you, and only seeks to use you, for 
his own purposes. He desires merely to encourage hostilities 
between the uncle and nephew, to take advantage of their dis- 
sensions for the advancement of his own ambitious schemes, 
and for the injury of both." 

There was some truth in what he said truth from lips 
which seldom spoke it and Arthur meditated in silence. 
He recollected how inefficient had been the succor afforded 
him by Philip, how readily he had been abandoned in tho 



ENGLAND ARTHUR. k 41 

hour of need. " Why am I in Falaise," he thought, "if the 
great King of France, with all his unlimited power and great 
resources, be really willing to deliver me ?" 

John saw that he was moved, and he proceeded. 

" Rightly viewed, Arthur," he continued, " your interests 
are intimately bound up with mine. Abandon your alliance 
with Philip, adhere to me faithfully and truly, as your nat- 
ural friend, protector, and ally. Your hereditary dominions 
of Brittany shall be restored to you, and I will shower honors 
and benefits on your head. You shall share in all my boun- 
ties, and no one shall receive more favor in my dominions." 

Indignation had been growing up in Arthur's heart. True, 
Philip had aided him with a niggard liand ; but then the 
king had probably calculated upon greater and more rapid ef- 
forts on the part of the barons of Poitou and Maine. True, 
the King of France had not come to his deliverance ; but Ar- 
thur knew that he was himself embarrassed by treacherous 
vassals and unruly peers. True, Philip had not given him 
all the support he expected ; but he had supported, and had 
never plundered him. Philip had kept his word. Philip, in 
hatred or in friendship, was persevering. Philip pursued an 
enemy or supported a friend without fear or wavering ; and 
John what was John ? There rose up before the boy's eyes 
the history of his race. He saw the rebellious and deceitful 
son, the treacherous brother, the false friend, the weak prince, 
the man who never kept an oath to friend or enemy, the plun- 
derer of his house, the oppressor of his mother, the usurper of 
his rights. They were all before him in John, king of En- 
gland ; and when he heard him talk of his dominions when 
he spoke of bestowing favors and honors upon one before whom 
his knee should bow as a vassal and his brow bend with hu- 
mility and shame, the spirit of Plantagenet rose up in the 
bold boy's heart ! and he replied but too frankly. 

" Give me back the crown of England which you have 
usurped," he said ; " deliver to me the territories in this land 
of France which are mine by inheritance ; yield up to me, as 
your elder brother's son and representative, all the broad pos- 
sessions of my uncle Richard at the day of his death ; do hom- 
age to me as your sovereign lord, for the fiefs you hold of my 
crown, and I will honor and favor you according to your obe- 
dience. But of this be assured, that for these things never 
will I cease to struggle ; for my rights and my dominions nev- 
er will I cease to fight while I have life and strength." 

The dark frown gathered on the weak tyrant's brow, and 



42 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

his lip turned pale and quivered ; but, without reply, he quit- 
ted the chamber, and the heavy bolts were shot in the door 
behind him. 

There were many secret consultations in the Castle of Fa- 
laise that night. Various men, not famed for honesty and 
scruples men of harsh visages and hard hearts, were closet- 
ed separately with King John. But still he seemed dissatis- 
fied when they went away. There were few who could bring 
their hearts to murder a boy, and one so good. 

Nevertheless, Arthur had sealed his own fate, and naught 
but an agent was wanting. 

The royal court of John quitted Falaise, and the castle and 
the high tower returned to their tranquillity again. It was 
dull and heavy, the passing of the next month ; and Arthur's 
heart sunk low, and expectation gave way to despondency. 
The flagging hours seemed weary of passing over his head, 
and he looked out to the blue sky, and longed, like the proph- 
et poet, for the wings of a dove, that he might fly away and 
be at rest. Suddenly the information came that he was to 
be removed to Rouen ; and, though he was strictly guarded 
by the way, and suffered to speak to no one but his immediate 
attendants, the poor boy rejoiced. It was a change ; and any 
thing seemed better than the cold solitude of Falaise. 



CHAPTER III. 

ARTHUR. 

WILLIAM DE BRAUSE sat with his wife in the Castle of 
Rouen ; and there was an open letter before them. His was 
a harsh face, with more than one scar upon it ; but it belied 
the heart within. Matilda of St. Valery was any thing but 
like her husband ; for she was bright and beautiful to behold, 
and looked as mild and gentle as a May morning. She ivas 
gentle too ; but yet, in a good cause and with a high aim, no 
lion that ever tore the hunter which pursued him was bolder 
that Matilda of St. Valery. Her high, true spirit cost her 
her life ere many years were over ; but that is beyond the 
limits of our tale.* 

* She was thrown into prison in 1208, with William her eldest son, 



ENGLAND ARTHUR. 43 

" A strange letter, and a dark," said William de Brause. 
" The king trusting in my fidelity and affection to do him good 
service, sends Prince Arthur hither to Rouen, to my custody." 

" Light comes from darkness, they say," replied Matilda 
of St. Valery ; " and when John speaks darkly, his meaning 
is generally clear. When he speaks clearly, it is then men 
should ask themselves what it is he really means." 

" I know not what he means," replied her husband, " un- 
less that I should keep the poor boy strictly." 

" Perhaps, that you should not keep him at all," replied 
his wife. 

" God's life, thou speakest parables too," answered William 
de Brause. " Not keep him ! Why does he send him to me 
then?" 

" To make away with him," replied Matilda, in a low tone. 

De Brause started and gazed at her silently. 

" What have I done," he asked, at length, " that this man 
should think me a murderer ?" 

" Thou art rough in speech, bold in deed, harsh of visage, 
De Brause," replied his wife ; " and it is only those that lie 
in thy bosom who know the beauty of the spirit and the soft- 
ness of the heart within. This king mistakes thee, my hus- 
band. * Thou must teach him not always to judge other men 
by himself." 

" Pshaw, that is all woman's talk," replied De Brause, 
kissing her. "He would never seek to hurt the boy. No, 
no, he only wants to have him strictly guarded, to prevent 
mischief and keep down war. No man would ever dream of 
injuring a noble boy like this." 

" Thou makest the same mistake that he does," said Ma- 
tilda, sadly. " Thou judgest others by thyself. Hast thou 
heard, De Brause, that Geoffrey of Lusignan is dead in Corfe 
Castle starved to death ? Hast thou not heard the rumors 
which have come from Falaise, of men refusing to do dark 
deeds which they dared not name?" 

" Wild, wandering reports," replied De Brause, " doubtless 
all false and fanciful." But he got up and strode about the 
room with a frowning brow and moody air, and then went 
away, bestowing some hearty curses upon something, he men- 
tioned not what. 

by order of King John. She had reproached him fearlessly with the 
murder of Arthur; and she died in Corfe Castle, no one knows how. 
Her son died also ; and her husband was banished, and died two years 
after her. 



44 DARK SCENES OF HISTOR1. 

It was night when Prince Arthur arrived ; and the good 
governor took him by the hand and led him to his wife. 

" Here is our noble guest, Matilda," he said ; " and we 
must make him as comfortable as may be, in following the 
king's commands. You women know best how to soothe 
away sorrow, so try your skill on him, good housewife." 

Her skill was not employed in vain ; for, though weary and 
sick at heart when he arrived, though the dark town and the 
frowning fortress were not calculated to raise up hopes, yet 
the kind woman's smile and her tender care had power to 
soothe and cheer ; and for a time Arthur thought Rouen bet- 
ter than Falaise. It lasted not long, however ; for it was not 
the purpose of the hard uncle that Arthur should be happy. 
First came a letter from the king, reproving De Brause for 
the liberty he had allowed his prisoner, and ordering that Ar- 
thur should be closely confined in the new tower. Then came 
a command to exclude every body from him but one jailer ; 
and then John himself arrived to take up his residence in 
Rouen, and there were gloomy looks and discontented speeches 
passed between De Brause and the king. The feudal baron 
was bold and stern, and, like the famous Scotch reformer, 
feared not the face of mortal man. He doubted the king's 
purpose. He knew him to be faithless, treacherous, and 
cruel ; and the words of his wife had now been confirmed by 
direct intelligence from Falaise. 

It was one gloomy winter morning ; and the large logs 
burned upon the hearth. A white mist rose up from the 
Seme ; the wind was cold and cutting ; it was no day for 
traveling. De Brause had been sad and thoughtful all the 
preceding evening, and gloomy and stern in the early morn- 
ing ; but he had a lighter look when he entered his wife's 
chamber, about ten o'clock before noon. 

" Quick, wife," he exclaimed, " pack up your goods and 
gewgaws. We shall ride forth from Rouen before night." 

" What has happened, De Brause ?" demanded Matilda. 

" Nothing, dear love," he answered ; " but something is 
going to happen. Within an hour John will be here to hold 
a court, and receive the homage of Martin of Duclerc. Then, 
in the presence of all, I give up my command into his hands. 
I will bear these heavy thoughts no longer. I will neither 
be a jailer nor a murderer, good wife, so, with God's blessing, 
we will ride forth and leave him to do his will." 

" Alas, the poor boy !" replied Matilda of St. Valery. 

De Brause gazed at her sorrowfully. 



E N G L A N D A R T H U R. 45 

" Alas, indeed !" he said ; " but if I can do naught to help 
him, I will do naught to wrong him ; and I will not stay to 
witness what is to happen. Perhaps, too, I may speak a word 
which will frighten the wolf from his prey. But God knows, 
there are some men who are only bold in evil deeds. How- 
ever, I must hasten away ; for I hear horses below ;" and he 
left her. 

John sat in his chair of state; and many a Norman and 
English baron stood around while the act of homage was per- 
formed by one of the vassals of Normandy. The king's face 
was smooth and smiling. A sleepy sort of languor was in his 
eyes ; arid the long hair, which hung upon his shoulders, was 
curled and perfumed with more than usual care. But those 
who knew him best argued no good from such indications. 
He seemed to remark that there were many cold and cheer- 
less looks about him ; and he spoke to several of the Norman 
nobles in soothing and familiar tones. 

De Brause gave him no great time for discourse, however ; 
for hardly had the homage been performed a minute, when 
he stepped forward into the circle, saying, with a grave, stern 
manner, " My lord the king, I deliver into your hands the 
command of this Castle of Rouen, with which you intrusted 
me some eighteen months ago, and also the custody of your 
nephew. Prince Arthur, which you gave me without my seek- 
ing, and contrary to my wish. What may be his fate here- 
after, I know not ; but witness, all noble gentlemen here 
present, that I deliver him into the king's hands safe, and in 
good health. I beg you to name some one to take this charge, 
which is too heavy for me. My own affairs call me imme- 
diately to my lordship of Brause, for which I must set out 
this very day." 

John had frowned upon him from the beginning of his 
speech, with a fierce and vindictive look ; but in this case the 
tiger was chained. The barons of Normandy stood around ; 
and he ; dared not violate their rights in the person of De 
Brause. 

" This is sudden," he said, slowly and thoughtfully ; " sud- 
den, and not courteous to your king, and to one who has fa- 
vored you." 

As he spoke, he rolled his eyes over the circle round him, 
with a doubtful and considerate look. He was long in find- 
ing a face that pleased him. Pembroke's would not do. 
Salisbury's would not do. Brionne's he did not like. The 
Lord of Maille he dreaded. There was a man standing be- 



48 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

hind, with his arms crossed upon his chest and a slight smile 
upon his lip, with more of bitter than of sweet in it ; and, as 
John's eye lighted on his face, between the shoulders of two 
others, he exclaimed suddenly, " Robert de Vipont, stand for- 
ward. We will bestow on you the custody of our dear neph- 
ew, if you will undertake it." 

" Right willingly, my liege," replied De Vipont, coming 
forward ; " and I trust I shall give satisfaction in my office." 

" Doubtless, doubtless," said John, bending his head ; and 
then, turning toward De Brause, he said, coldly, " Give up 
your charge to him, sir." 

" By your good leave, my liege," said De Brause, " I will 
have two of these noble lords to witness the surrender of my 
prisoner into his hands, that they may testify to your highness 
that the prince is safe and well. It is according to feudal 
custom, and my right." 

John had turned toward him fiercely at the first words, 
but he overcame the passion in his heart with marvelous 
self-command. 

" Be it so," he said, in the same cold, chilly tone. " Let 
us go, my lords ;" and he rose and quitted the hall. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ARTHUR . 

THE night was dark and tempestuous. Heavy gusts of 
wind swept down the Valley of the Seine. There was not a 
star to be seen in the sky, and sweeping clouds obscured the 
whole face of heaven. It was the night of the new moon, 
and very dark. The town of Rouen was still and silent. All 
the busy population of the Norman capital was buried in 
slumber ; and on neither side of the river was any one seen 
except two poor women on the left bank, who sat close to the 
edge of the water, keeping up a fire in a raised chafing-dish, 
the light of which floated down the stream, but which was 
shaded on the other side from the northeasterly blast. 

At that time the fish of the Seine was abundant and in 
high repute ; and many fishermen from the neighborhood of 
Rouen and Canteleu made a scanty living by sailing down 



E N G L A N D A R T H U R. 47 

toward the mouth of the river, and bringing all that they 
could sweep up in their nets for the daily supply of the city 
market. Their trade was not without peril ; and this, as I 
have said, was a stormy night. The women I have spoken 
of were two fishermen's wives, watching for the return of 
their husbands, who had been absent longer than their wont ; 
and the fire was a little homely beacon, lighted to show 
them, in the darkness of the night, their accustomed landing- 
place. 

Patiently had they watched for many an hour, when, sud- 
denly, they heard the sound of horses' feet coming down the 
Bernay road. " Heaven send it may be the king coming 
back," said one of the women to the other ; "for then we 
shall have a good market for the fish." 

" No such good luck," replied the other. " The king 
would not come at this hour ; and, besides, I only hear two 
or three horses." 

As she spoke, she went up the little bank to obtain a sight 
of the road. Her eyes had grown familiar with the darkness, 
and she saw three horsemen ride down toward the river and 
dismount. One of them gathered all the reins together, and 
remained where he was. The other two went close down to 
the edge of the water, one of them turning his head and say- 
ing, " Mind you stir not a step, for your life." 

" I will not, my liege," replied the man who held the 
horses ; and the other two walked for several yards close to 
the edge of the Seine. 

The dip of oars in the water was heard, and the two women, 
looking out, saw faintly the outline of a boat, with two men 
in it, making its way toward the opposite shore. It was soon 
lost in the darkness, and they perceived not whither it went ; 
but some twenty minutes or half an hour after a light streamed 
out from one of the lower windows of the new tower, where 
all had been black before. That light remained there ; but 
very soon, through one of the loop-holes of the tall lateral tur- 
ret, which contained the stair-case, a yellow glare broke forth 
upon the night, faded away, appeared at the loop-hole above, 
and then at another higher still. It was next seen spreading 
over one of the upper casements of the tower ; and the wom- 
en fancied they heard the sound of voices, speaking loud/ 
borne across the river by the wind. 

A moment or two after there was a loud and piercing 
shriek, a second fainter, and then what seemed a deep, mur- 
muring groan ; and at the same time the light was extin 



48 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

guished in the chamber above. The women shook very 
much, but dared not ask each other what all this might 
mean. Not long after, they heard a heavy plunge in the wa- 
ter, and then the creaking sound of the oars upon the gun- 
wale, and their measured dip in the stream. The boat re- 
turned before their eyes, with two men in it, as before ; and, 
after a few minutes, the horses' feet were heard beating the 
ground, and taking, apparently, the way back to Bernay. 

For two hours more the women waited and watched. All 
was silent and still ; and they conversed often in low whis- 
pers, as if they feared that some one might be listening. At 
length the sound of voices was indistinctly heard, the rushing 
of a small bark through the water, a loud call from a well- 
known voice, as some one caught sight of the fire, and in a 
moment or two more husbands and wives were busily unload- 
ing the boat, which brought home an abundant freight to re- 
pay watching and anxiety. Joy and satisfaction first had 
way ; but, after that had subsided, each wife told her hus- 
band what they had seen and heard, and much did they all 
marvel what it might mean. Some ten days after, one of 
those very men, fishing, with several companions, many miles 
further down the Seine, fancied he had caught in his net a 
larger draught of fishes than he had brought up that year ; 
but when the nets were drawn in, though there were fish in 
plenty in it, yet there was an object which attracted more 
attention still. It was the body of a fair and beautiful boy 
of some sixteen years of age, with bright, long hair, which 
floated over the face as they raised it up. It was lightly 
clothed in such habiliments as persons of high rank in those 
days wore at night. There was the shirt tied with a blue 
ribbon at the neck, and a furred dressing-gown of cloth of sil- 
ver. There was a large gold ring, too, upon the thumb, with 
a beautiful ruby in it of the size of a silver sol. When they 
came to examine the body more closely, they found a deep 
sword wound passing through and through it, and another, 
contused and ragged, on the left temple. The rough men 
shook their heads, with a sad and mournful look ; and carry- 
ing the body, which was in no degree decomposed (for the 
weather had been very cold, although it was now the 13th 
of April, in the year of our Lord 1203), to the neighboring 
monastery of St. Mary of the Fields, they gave it into the 
hands of the good monks. The abbot was called to look at 
it ; and when he had gazed at it for a moment or two, the 
tears came into the old man's eyes. 



E N G L A N D A R T H U R. 49 

" Alas, alas !" he said ; " and is it even so ! Go your ways, 
good men, go your ways ; and remember, if you would save 
your own lives, be very silent. We will give this youth 
burial here in our own church ; and a mass shall be said 
every day for a twelve-month for the repose of his soul. He 
had little peace or happiness on earth. May he find both in 
heaven." 

The body was buried in quiet secrecy by the good monks 
of St. Mary's ; and masses were said as the abbot had prom- 
ised ; but Arthur of Brittany was never heard of more among 
the living.* 

* The annals of Margan coincide in many particulars with the ac- 
count of William the Breton. Matthew Paris is less explicit. Ralph 
of Coggeshal supplies a few particulars to the tale ; and I have prefer- 
red the accounts of these authors to the less credible statement of Ar- 
gentre, which I can not discover to have been based upon any thing but 
a vague rumor among the barons of Brittany. The unanimous testi- 
mony of historians proves that Arthur was murdered, almost all say by 
John's own hand, though some assert that it was done by others at his 
instigation, and Matthew Paris uses the delicate expression " Arthurus 
subito evanuit." 

c 



50 DARK SCENES OF Hi STORY. 



CHAPTER I. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

IT was an intensely hot day, toward the end of August, iu 
the year 1485, and the busy citizens of London were taking 
some short repose, after enjoying the mid-day meal. Never- 
theless, there was much agitation in the city, for it was known 
that hostile armies were marching toward each other in the 
heart of the land, and hourly news was expected of a battle, 
which would decide the fate of England. The two parties 
of York and Lancaster were not yet wholly extinct. Many 
who had fought for one rose or another were still living, and 
old wounds were still sore ; but, nevertheless, faction had lost 
much of its rancor ; and the accession of Richard III. had 
tended to unite many partisans of both houses, in opposition 
to a prince, whom both regarded as a usurper. 

But Richard's friends were very powerful in London ; and 
on that day, the 25th of August, they walked the streets with 
a proud and confident air, well assured that thejr master, a 
great general as well as a great statesman, supported by vet- 
eran troops, and assisted by skillful officers, would obtain an 
easy victory over, the scum of England, and the rabble of 
Brittany, led by the unwarlike and unfamed Richmond. All 
were eager for news from Leicester, however ; and though the 
malcontents were afraid to inquire too eagerly for intelligence, 
lest their hopes should become apparent, yet many a one ques- 
tioned his neighbor in private. The partisans of the king, 
on the other hand, boldly questioned every one they saw, if 
any distinct information had been received of the royal suc- 
cess. Often might a man be seen in that after-dinner hour, 
quietly gliding from his own open door into that of the ad- 
joining house, to gather the news of the day, or returning 
with a doubtful and dejected countenance as he heard report 
of Richmond's men having fallen from him, or of scanty levies 
among his friends, or of the indifference of the people of the 
country. 

If any group was seen, however, gathered together at the 
shady corner of the street, discussing the passing events with 
loud tones and a swaggering air, sure might you be that they 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 51 

were Richard's men, even though they displayed not the cog- 
nizance of the boar. 

Toward evening one of those strange rumors which have 
something prophetic in them began to spread through the 
city. No messenger had arrived from Bosworth Field, no def- 
inite intelligence was to be got from any one, but yet the re- 
port ran from house to house, and mouth to mouth, with in- 
credible rapidity, that a great battle had been fought, and that 
Henry Tudor was victor of the field. 

About six o'clock, a dusty horseman, with a jaded horse, 
rode into the town, and was seen by many spurring on toward 
the Tower. He looked not to the right or left. His brow 
was dark and gloomy, and he seemed utterly wearied out. 
A man called to him from the door of an ale-house to stop 
and take a draught ; but the horseman spurred on and heeded 
not. When not a bow-shot from the gates of the Tower, a 
draper, well to do, who knew him to be a servant of Brack- 
enbury the lieutenant, ran up to the horse, and asked him 
what news from the North. The man answered not ; and 
then the draper inquired, how was his noble master. 

" Dead !" replied the man, and spurred on, nor paused fur- 
ther till he had passed the draw-bridge. 

From that moment there was a 'Strange movement within 
the Tower. Many people were observed to quit it carrying 
bundles and boxes. The gates were left unguarded, or nearly 
so ; and the rumor spread fast that a battle had been fought, 
King Richard defeated and slain, and Brackenbury the lieu- 
tenant left among the dead. Groups collected around the 
gates ; but they consisted only of the lower classes ; for the lord 
mayor and the citizens had assembled in the Guildhall, and 
were discussing somewhat profusely what was to be done next. 

As the evening began to close in, two men on foot passed 
over the draw-bridge into the Tower. One was a monk, and 
the other seemed a serving-man. They had not entered a 
quarter of an hour, when two others rode up, men bearing 
arms arid of a military look. The horses were tired, but the 
riders had a gay and triumphant air. Both seemed to have 
fared well on the road too ; for their speech was somewhat 
thick, and the tone boisterous. 

" What news, what news !" cried some of the people in the 
crowd as they rode among them slowly. 

" What news !" cried 'the soberer of the two. " Have you 
not heard it, lads ? Well, then, long live Henry, king of En- 
gland !" and he threw his cap up into the air. 



52 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

" Lancaster ! Lancaster ! Long live King Henry !" shout- 
ed the mob ; and a scramble took place to catch the man's 
cap, which fell among the crowd. 

" Come to the Guildhall ! Come to the hall !" cried one 
of the most forward among the people. " Come, tell the 
mayor and aldermen the good tidings ;" and he laid his hand 
upon the man's bridle, while shouts of " Lancaster !" echoed 
round. 

" Stay, stay I must say a word to the warder, and then 
I am with you," answered the horseman. " Here, good man 
with the boar on your breast, go tell the deputy that I will be 
back presently. You may say that the tyrant is dead on 
Bosworth Field, and Harry of Richmond, king of England 
Ah, I forgot. That is not all. Say I come from Sir Robert 
Willoughby, now lieutenant of the Tower, to bid him be 
ready to yield his charge peaceably to-morrow before noon, for 
Sir Robert is by this time at Barnet, I dare say." 

The man went away, surrounded by a crowd of men and 
boys, eagerly seeking the news of Bosworth, and the warder 
ran in with the tidings. The deputy was speaking low and 
eagerly with the monk who had lately entered ; and when he 
heard the news the warder brought, he made no comment 
thereon, but continued almost in a whisper, as if in conclu- 
sion of what he had been saying, 

" Now is the moment. Quick, then quick ! Commend 
me to her highness, and crave her gracious favor for me." 

Ten minutes after, the monk and the serving-man went 
forth again from the Tower ; but they had now a fair young 
boy between them, who looked round as if in terror, and held 
fast by the monk's robe. No one noticed them. It was now 
nearly dark. All was confusion in the courts of the Tower ; 
the gate was wide open, the draw-bridge down, the mob all 
gone to the Guildhall ; and the monk, and boy, and serving- 
man passed on. They bent their steps through narrow streets 
to the water's edge, and entered a lonely, melancholy house. 
The serving-man stationed himself at the door, which was 
open when they arrived, and the monk and the boy walked 
hastily in. They went up a broad flight of low, open stairs, 
and along a corridor. The monk threw back a door, and the 
boy sprang in. 

There were two ladies in the room : one past the early 
prime of life, but still beautiful ; the other like a flower in the 
spring ; and the moment they beheld the boy they caught 
hire in their arms, and smothered him with caresses. One 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 53 

twined her arms around him ; then the other caught him to 
her heart. Both wept, and both smiled ; and speech seemed 
extinguished for some time in manifold emotions. 

At length, however, the elder lady raised her eyes toward 
heaven with a look of anguish, strangely contrasting with the 
joy which her face had just before expressed. 

" You must go, my boy," she said ; ' ; you must go, Richard. 
We must not keep you here." 

" But if my uncle is slam, dearest mothef, why need I go ?" 
demanded the boy. " The Earl of Richmond is more unkind, 
if he sends me away from England, than rny uncle Richard ; 
for, though he would not let me out of the Tower, he was 
kind, and kept me here." 

" It is for your own good, my boy," answered the elder lady. 
" It is not he who sends you ; it is I. There are dangers 
abroad, Richard more dangers than you wot of. Man's am- 
bition is never to be trusted. Richmond is already proclaim- 
ed King of England, and we have no power to assert your 
title against his. The attempt would be destruction to all of 
us. You must go, my boy, and go at once. This good father 
will explain all to you by the way. The time may come 
when a brighter fate will attend you. Till that day arrives, 
you must conceal your name, your rights, your station. A 
mother's and a sister's love shall always watch over you, and 
we shall meet again, I trust, in happier hours. I have but 
one injunction to give ; but let it sink deep into your heart. 
Treasure up in your memory every scene, every word, every 
act of these times. Let nothing that has happened to you in 
these days pass from your remembrance. Let not new places 
or new friends banish them from your recollection, nor time 
wear out the soft traces from the mind of youth. Whether 
your hours be spent in pastime or in study, pause and ponder 
for a while eacjj day, recalling, as clearly as possible, all that 
you now recollect : your father's court, your mother's love, 
the person and appearance of all your near relations, your 
dwelling in the Tower, the sports and companions of your 
childhood. And now farewell, my boy, farewell!" 

It was a bitter parting ; but a mother's heart reconciled it- 
self to the pang, by the knowledge that her child was saved. 

The boy, the monk, and the serving-man set out. A wher- 
ry, with the common waterman, conveyed them down the river 
to a Flemish ship, which was lying below the bridge ; and in 
a few hours afterward they were upon the sea. The mouth 
of the Scheldt received them, after a tempestuous voyage ; 



54 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

and, journeying on, they reached the town of Tournay, where 
their travels ceased. The monk spoke the language of the 
country well ; but neither the boy, nor the old serving-man, 
who remained with him, understood a word ; and the conver- 
sation of all three was in English when conversing with each 
other. There were many of their countrymen in the town, 
and occasionally they met and conversed, but it was always 
with reserve ; for the monk never lost sight of his young 
charge, till he had* filled' his mind with the conviction that his 
life or his liberty depended upon concealment. It would seem 
that the old man had obtained a dispensation from his vows 
of seclusion, for he quitted not the side of that boy for several 
years, but remained with him, instructing him in many things, 
and taking care that naught which he had learned should es- 
cape from his memory. 

From time to time news came from England ; and money, 
though not in abundance, was never wanting. They heard 
that Henry of Richmond was king. They heard that he was 
husband of Elizabeth of York. And sometimes the boy would 
smile at the tidings which reached him ; sometimes he would 
weep. 

At length a sore fever prevailed in the land, and the old 
serving-man caught it and died. The monk and the boy, 
however, escaped, and two more years passed, while time did 
its work on both. The boy grew up into a tall and hand- 
some youth. He learned to ride, to dance, to use the sword 
and lance. The monk withered, and became bent and fee- 
ble ; and though he was still cheerful, as good men often are 
in life's decline, he evidently felt his days were drawing to a 
close. 

In 1487, news reached Flanders that an aspirant to the 
crown of England had appeared, calling himself Edward 
Plantagenet, earl of Warwick, son of George, duke of Clar- 
ence. But the boy and the monk only smiled ; and when, 
some time after, they heard ftiat the real Earl of Warwick 
had been shown to the people by King Henry, and that the 
pretender had been exposed, defeated in battle, and made a 
scullion in the king's kitchen, they laughed aloud. 

The monk, however, as I have said, declined, wasting slow- 
ly but perceptibly. His memory began to fail. His thoughts 
were not so clear; his speech became thick and indistinct. 
About this time a stranger visited them from England, and, 
seeing the state of the good old man, he gave some money, 
which he had been charged to deliver, into the hands of the 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 55 

young boy. He bade him also, if the monk died, and he had 
need of writing into England, to address his letter to the Prior 
of St. Alban's ; to make no mention of -former times ; to state 
his wants and wishes briefly, and to sign merely the name of 
Richard. 

The monk died, and the boy remained alone, lodging in the 
house of a person named Usbeck, one of the officers of the 
town of Tournay. He soon got tired, however ; for these 
were coarse, rude people among whom he dwelt, and he was 
now a noble-looking, princely youth, graceful in his manners, 
and with many a rich store in his mind. He resolved to see 
more of the wide world ; there was none to restrain him ; and, 
taking advantage of a Portuguese ship which happened to be 
in the Scheldt, he set sail for that land of bold adventurers.* 



CHAPTER II. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

IT was a beautiful day in the spring of the year 1492, when 
a ship appeared off the coast of Ireland bearing Portuguese 
colors. A boat rowed off, containing, besides a portion of the 
ordinary crew, two or three persons of distinguished appear- 
ance, one of whom was a youth, apparently of some sixteen 
years of age, tall, handsome, beautifully formed, with a counte- , 
n ance, once seen, never to be forgotten . It was full of beautiful 
peculiarities : it was the countenance of a race. His dress 
was not what could be called splendid, but rich and graceful ; 

* The foregoing statement can not be borne out by any direct au- 
thority : but I have adopted this view of the escape of Richard, duke 
of York, out of the Tower, from a disquisition attributed, I believe 
iustly to Malcolm Laing, as the most probable explanation of the dark- 
er parts in the history of him who has been called by historians Perkm 
Warbeck, in consequence of the bold, though contradictory and unsub- 
stantiated, assertions of the adherents of the house of Tudor. Mr. Lamg 
only ventures to state that it is more probable that the young son ot J 
ward was withdrawn from the Tower in the confusion which reigned 
in London between the death of Richard III. and the arrival of Sir Rob- 
ert Willoughby at the Tower, than at any other time; but that me 
prince did escape, rests upon the much stronger body ot evidence, pn; 
ci pally negative, indeed, but yet most conclusive. 



56 DARK SCENES OF HIS TORY. 

and his doublet of pale-blue silk suited well his clear and 
brilliant complexion. He wore a long, heavy sword upon his 
left hip, and a dagger thrust through his girdle, immediately 
in front ; and, notwithstanding his extreme youth, his muscu- 
lar limbs seemed well fitted to wield the weapons which he 
bore. When the boat touched the shore, two of the sailors 
jumped out, and held their hands to assist the passengers in 
disembarking. The youth at once rose and landed, and the 
others followed him with an air of respect. There were sey- 
eral persons watching the proceedings of the party, and one 
asked the other who these might be. 

" I don't know," said an old soldier who was standing by ; 
"but that lad is wonderfully like good King Edward IV., as 
I recollect him ten years before his death." He swore an 
oath, and added, " I believe it is himself come to life again." 

The words had caught the youth's ear ; and with a sudden 
movement, as if by an irresistible impulse, he turned round, 
with a bright smile, and held out his hand to the old man. 

The soldier caught it, and pressed his lips upon it; and, 
while the party walked on into the town, he hurried away to 
the Mayor of Cork, and told him he had seen King Edward's 
son. There were many inquiries made as to where the stran- 
gers were lodged ; and at nightfall the mayor went away, to 
see with his own eyes this extraordinary likeness of which the 
old soldier had spoken. 

" I have seen good King Edward many a time," he said ; 
" and methinks I should know his son if I beheld him." 

When the mayor arrived at the lodging of the strangers, 
he found a certain seeming of royal state. A servant stood 
at the door of the room where they were, and demanded his 
name before he would give him admission. 

" Tell him," said the visitor, " that I am John le Mellen, 
mayor of the town of Cork." 

He was admitted instantly, and found the youth sitting 
with his bonnet on, while the other two persons present were 
bareheaded. 

" You are welcome, Master Mayor," said the young man. 
" I pray you, be seated. What may be your business with 
me ?" 

The mayor gazed at him intently, still standing, and then 
replied, in a voice that shook a good deal, " May I first know 
in whose presence I am ?" 

"My name is Richard Plantagenet," replied the young 
man, with a bland smile. "Why do you ask ?" 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 57 

" My king, my king !" cried the mayor ; "I can not be mis- 
taken. The image of the royal Edward is before me ;" and 
he bent his knee and kissed the young man's hand. 

" I did not know," said the youth, " that I was so like, till 
I met an old man on the beach, who likewise recognized me 
instantly." 

Such was the first recognition of Richard, duke of York. 
But there be some whose fate seems to justify the old super- 
stition of those who say that men are born under an unfavor- 
able star. Richard's sun was almost always clouded, from 
dawn till night ; and if it yielded any brightness, it was bufr 
with the treacherous ray that lures the husbandman to sow 
the seed, and then leaves the produce to be blighted. On the 
following day, two or three others came in to see and to ac- 
knowledge the heir of their ancient kings : one Stephen Poi- 
tron, and one John Walter or O' Walter, among the rest. 
They had both served under King Edward, and required no 
arguments to convince them when they looked in the youth's 
face. In truth, he never sought to convince ; for he knew his 
own truth too well to doubt that it was apparent to others. 
By the advice of those who surrounded him, however, he 
wrote letters to the Earls of Desmond and Kildare, telling his 
birth, his history, and his claims ; but those great leaders were 
cowed by the superior fortune of Henry. They remembered 
the result of Simnel's attempt ; and that which Richard of 
York had laughed at as a boy now proved the greatest obsta- 
cle to his own success. Kildare and Desmond answered cold- 
ly : they came not to see him ; they sought not to judge of 
his rights ; they left him to establish them, if he could ; to 
fail, if such were God's will. 

Few gathered round him, though now one, now another, 
who had been attached to his family in former days, acknowl- 
edged his claim, and formed a little court around him in Cork. 
No rising in his favor showed itself : no army waited his com- 
mand ; and the hope which his speedy recognition had gen- 
erated waxed faint and more faint, till it well-nigh died out 
altogether. 

What was to be done ? became the question. What step 
was to be taken to win and to convince ? No one had yet 
appeared to deny his right, no one to resist his progress ; but 
few, very few, were there to support his title ; few to promise 
success to his efforts against a mighty enemy. 

It was proposed that he should once more abandon the do- 
minions of his father, and seek safety in obscurity again ; but 

C2 



58 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the gleam of sunshine was coming, the only gleam that was 
to brighten his dark existence. 

The utter neglect with which his pretensions had been 
treated by the English court had not been favorable to him. 
A just cause almost always gains by resistance : even an un- 
just cause, sometimes. But Henry's inactivity did not pro- 
ceed from apathy ; he miscalculated, and judged that the ap- 
pearance in Ireland of a new claimant to the throne was only 
a stratagem to divert him from his designs against France. 
He suffered a whole month to elapse, without heeding the 
rumors which reached his ears, and which began to spread 
dangerously among the English nobility. He even went on 
grinding his own subjects with excessive exactions, making 
them look round on every side for relief from the tyranny of 
his avarice. 

I have said that this indifference was unfavorable to Rich- 
ard Plantagenet. Noise and activity are the most seducing 
baits to the multitude. No opposition was shown to Rich- 
ard's claim, and consequently there came few to support it. 
Desmond would not move. Kildare was silent. The great 
body of the people stood aloof. There seemed nothing but 
exile or death before the prince ; and the last hope of the 
house of York was going out, when one day there arrived at 
Cork a French vessel of war, with a gentleman of that coun- 
try, who took upon himself the character of embassador. His 
name was Trion. He spoke English well, and had formerly 
been French secretary to King Henry VII. He had quitted 
the court of that monarch on some disgust, had visited Paris, 
and now his first inquiries were for Richard, duke of York. 

All the people of the town were surprised at the event, for 
their interest in the youth had died away, and most men were 
inclined to give up his cause as hopeless. , But when the news 
spread that a French embasgador had arrived, acknowledging, 
on behalf of his royal master, the claims of the young man, 
who so strongly resembled the gallant Edward IV., a marvel- 
ous change took place in the minds of men. Adherents began 
to come in. Knights and gentlemen thronged to see the heir 
of Plantagenet. Support was promised, and enthusiasm be- 
gan to raise up her fiery head. The advisers of Richard of 
York, however, knew how little such promises are ever to be 
depended upon, and the envoy of the French king had con- 
veyed to him an invitation which held out brighter prospects 
for the future. Charles VIII. besought him to visit his court 
in Paris, and put himself under the protection of one capable 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 59 

of assisting and supporting effectually. The youth took leave 
of his Irish friends with tender kindness, promised to return to 
them when his plan should be matured by consultation with 
his great protector, and sailed away for France with the light 
of hope upon his sails. 

It may be that the heart of Richard Plantagenet beat with 
many emotions as he entered the*gates of the city of Paris. 
He might feel hope, he might feel expectation, but he might 
feel that doubt, that fear springing from uncertainty, which 
agitates more than the presence of apparent danger. 

How should he be received by the King of France ? That 
was a question upon which much depended. If heartily ac- 
knowledged, though ultimate success might not, indeed, be se- 
cured, that for which every noble heart pants most eagerly 
was gained : the means of struggling vigorously for a .right. 
If, on the contrary, he were met coldly, his title questioned, 
his descent subjected to carping objections, there was nothing 
to look forward to but doubt and difficulty, and the delay 
which makes the heart sick. 

He migtit, indeed, feel agitated, but he did not show it ; 
and he rode on, accompanied by his small train, with calm 
and easy dignity. His face was grave, but not sad. His look 
was thoughtful, but not anxious. All fears, however, were 
dispelled from the moment of his entrance iuto the palace. 
The young king met him in the lower hall, and embraced 
him as a brother ; he led him by the hand to the presence of 
his new bride, the heiress pf Brittany ; he acknowledged him 
at once as Richard Plantagenet, duke of York, if not King of 
England ; and had any one who saw the two young princes 
standing together been asked at that moment which Nature 
intended for a king, the reply must certainly have pointed to 
the young exile who sought a refuge within those walls. 
Apartments in the palace were assigned to him ; a guard was 
appointed to attend upon him ; and daily from that moment 
his own countrymen, disgusted with the conduct of the miser 
king they had chosen, or convinced of the rights of Edward's 
son, flocked to the little court he now held in Paris. 

Those were bright and happy days. The French courtiers 
imitated the demeanor of their .monajch ; nothing was talked 
of but asserting Richard's claim in arms ; and letters were 
received, signed by several of the proudest names of England, 
giving assurance that there was still many a sword ready to 
start from the sheath in defense of the house of York. 

They were bright days; but clouds were upon the -edge of 



60 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the sky, and the storm was coming on the gale. The poor lad 
little knew that, while all seemed so fair and blossoming, the 
crooked canker-worm of policy was gnawing the heart of the 
rose. Maximilian, the German emperor, was arming to take 
vengeance upon the King of France for a double injury : his 
bride* snatched from him. and his daughter, t betrothed to the 
same prince, cast off ana despised. Henry VII. of England 
menaced Charles on the other side, talked loudly of war and 
conquest, and the revenge of injuries. 

Led by ambition toward other scenes, given up to the en- 
joyment of present pleasure, and finding neither strength nor 
union in France to struggle with the two mightiest monarchs 
of the day, Charles saw the storm which menaced him with 
alarm, and prepared to avert it by any concession. Richard 
Plantagenet had been invited to Paris as a menace to the 
King of England. He was now destined to be sacrificed as 
an atonement to his enemy. The negotiations for the Peace 
of Staples were conducted rapidly. Clause after clause was 
agreed to. Only one more point remained to be demanded 
and conceded : the surrender of Richard of York into the 
hands of Henry. 



CHAPTER IIL 

PERKIN WAR BECK. 

THERE had been a busy day at the court of France. Mes- 
sengers had come and gone. Many letters had been written ; 
and a reception at the palace, which had been fixed for that 
night, was suddenly put off. Richard Plantagenet was in his 
chamber alone, sketching out with no unskillful hand, and in 
no unkingly terms, a proclamation to be addressed to the peo- 
ple of England on landing to claim the crown of his ancestors. 

There was a gentle and quiet knock at his door, and he 
bade the visitor come in. The door opened. The tapestry 

* Anne of Brittany, who had been actually married by proxy, with 
some very extraordinary and indecent ceremonies, to the Emperor 
Maximilian. 

t Margaret of Austria, betrothed to the King of France, and actually 
in Paris, 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 61 

was pushed aside, and, to the surprise of the young prince, he 
saw a cordelier enter. He knew the man well. He was Fa- 
ther Maillard, a celebrated preacher, and the confessor of the 
king, but one who meddled with policy fully as much as re- 
ligion, and who, it is said, betrayed the interests of France to 
the seductions of Spain. 

He bore a very reverend character, however ; and the youth 
greeted him with all respect, kissed his hand, and besought him 
to be seated. 

The friar wore a grave and sorrowful air. It was clear 
some unpleasant intelligence was coming ; but Richard was 
not prepared for the whole. 

" I have a very painful task to perform, my son," said the 
old man, looking upon him ruefully. " You have, of course, 
heard that a treaty of peace is about to be concluded between 
England and France ? : ' 

" No, indeed, father," answered the youth, with a grave 
and somewhat stern air. " Methinks I ought to have heard 
it, but I have not. I suppose I am to read your words, that 
a treaty of peace is about to be concluded between King 
Charles, my friend, and Henry Tudor, my enemy." 

" Even so," answered the old man, mildly, taking no no- 
tice of the indignant tone in which the other spoke. " The 
state of France, his duty to his people, the menacing aspect of 
many neighboring powers, compe]s for I will not use a lighter 
term rny sovereign, Charles, to make great sacrifices to 
avert the dangers which menace his monarchy." 

" Methinks, were I king of the French nation," replied 
Richard, " no dangers would be found great enough to induce 
me to ally myself with an usurper, who has ever shown him- 
self an enemy to the ruin of hopes I had nourished, and the 
injury of one whom I had promised to befriend." 

" You know not, my son, what conduct might be forced 
upon you were you in such circumstances," answered the 
friar with the same gentle manner. " France is strong, and 
able to cope with any neighboring kingdom single-handed, but 
not with a great coalition against her. England, the empire, 
and Aragon have been all united for her destruction. The 
English, on the west, were ready to sweep her coasts, ay, 
and to carry war into the heart of the land. The Aragon- 
ese, in the south, were prepared to pour down into the fertile 
plains of Gascony and Languedoc. The emperor, on the east 
and north, was already in the field. Peace has been pur- 
chased for I must not call it gained by immense sacrifices, 



62 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

by enormous payments in gold, by the cession of Artoise, and 
Franche Comte, by the surrender of Roussillori ; arid I must 
now add, it can only be ratified by a greater sacrifice still." 

" He would not give me up to my enemy !" exclaimed 
Richard Plantagenet, now grasping, in some degree, the old 
man's meaning. " He has not invited me hither to violate 
in my person the rights of princes, his own solemn word and 
plighted faith, the laws of hospitality, and the rules of honor ! 
I will not believe it." 

"There you do him right," replied the confessor. "He 
has not done, he does not propose to do any of these things 
you mention. You are not even named in the treaty, and 
never, to my knowledge, have been spoken of in the negotia- 
tions. But the treaty must be signed to-morrow ; and after 
that the king can not guarantee your safety. He has sent 
me to warn you of the fact." 

" My safety from what danger ?" asked the unfortunate 
prince. " If he withdraws not his countenance and friend- 
ship for me, from all other dangers I will guard myself." 

" Nay, my son, listen to reason," said the cordelier. " In 
regard to political events near at hand, it needs no prophet- 
ical spirit to tell what will happen. Both you and I can 
easily foresee what will be demanded of the King of France 
as soon as this treaty is signed. King Henry will require that 
you should be given up to him." 

" And will he consent ?" exclaimed the young man. " Will 
he so betray the rights of hospitality, forfeit his plighted word, 
debase the kingly office, and bring contempt upon the crown 
of France ?" 

" What can he do ?" inquired the friar. 

" Reject the demand with scorn," replied the young man. 
" Tell the usurper of my throne that Charles of France is 
not his servant. Tell him that knights and gentlemen, to 
say naught of monarchs, do not sully their honor and disgrace 
their name at the bidding of any man." 

." And bring war and bloodshed upon the whole realm of 
France," said the monk, in a somewhat sterner tone ; " true, 
had he no one to consult but his own courage, or rather his 
own rashness, he might commit such unchristian folly, might 
see his fair fields laid waste, his people slaughtered, his towns 
sacked and burned, merely for what men call a point of honor ; 
but, happily for France, he must consult his council, who have 
already advised him to pay many hundred thousand crowns 
to avert the threatened evil. On their decision he must act ; 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 63 

and it is a kind deed of him to give you timely warning, be- 
fore a demand is made which all men must see he can not 
venture to reject." 

The young man bent his head, and sat silent for several 
minutes in bitter thought. At length he said, in a low tone, 
as if speaking to himself, 

" The unfortunate have few friends, and none steadfast." 

" He shows himself your friend in thus forewarning you," 
answered the confessor. " Many a man in his situation would 
have told you naught, but would have sacrificed you at once 
to the interests of his kingdom. He, however, gives you time- 
ly notice of a danger ; nay, more, he offers you the means of 
avoiding it." 

" And how ?" demanded Richard Plant agenet. " By be- 
coming once more a homeless outcast, by wandering away 
unprotected, to fall a ready prey into the hands of my fierce, 
ruthless enemy, whose attention Jias been awakened to my 
existence and my claims, while the King of France has kept 
me at his court, filling me with vague promises and unsub- 
stantial hopes. Oh, hapless fortune ! Doomed from my 
earliest years to sorrow and adversity, mouniing for my fa- 
ther's death is among my first remembrances, and then comes 
a long imprisonment and a still longer exile, my brother's 
throne usurped, rny own fortune, exile and obscurity, and now 
the downfall of all my expectations, built upon a monarch's 
word and the promises of a pretended friend." 

" You are mistaken, young sir," rejoined the priest, " both 
in regard to the acts and to the intentions of the king. He 
does not send you back to poverty and to exile. He does not 
wish you to wander away unprotected, to fall a prey into the 
hand of your enemy. He advises you for he has no right to 
command to betake yourself to the court of your nearest re- 
lation out of England, Margaret of York, duchess of Burgun- 
dy and regent of Flanders. He will furnish you with abund- 
ant means to reach the territory under her rule in a state 
becoming your birth ; and he will have you safely escorted to 
the frontier, so that no evil can befall you. This is surely 
all that you can expect." 

The young man sighed deeply, and bent his head. He 
saw that the conduct of Charles was decided. There was 
no hope that any thing he could say would change the king's 
resolution, and he answered, in a low tone, 

" Well, as it may be no better, I must even submit. When 
does the king wish that I should depart ?" 



64 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

" The treaty will be signed to-morrow at noon," replied the 
priest. " No one can tell how soon after the demand may be 
made. Perhaps, even now, the English envoys have their 
commands to require your surrender as soon as the negotia- 
tions have terminated, when they know that such a demand 
can not be refused." 

" It were better, you would say, that I should go at once," 
answered Richard, rising. " Be it so. I am ready." 

" Nay, nay, my son, no such haste," said Father Maillard, 
resuming his gentler tone, now that the object was attained. 
" To-morrow morning will be time enough. Then you had 
better go, and as privately as possible." 

" Good !" answered Richard. " But I will beseech the 
King of France to recompense my page and my other attend- 
ants. They have been very faithful to me, and love me well, 
I believe. Some small gratuity, too, I would crave for the 
guard who have had in charge to protect the King of En- 
gland. Another King of England is acknowledged now. So 
farewell to the first recognition of my rights ; for the favor 
of this world passeth away." 

He spoke in a low and melancholy tone, with an air of grave 
dignity, but no bitterness ; and even Maillard was moved. 

" Your page is doubtless ready to go with you, my lord," 
he replied; "and you had better take two of your other at- 
tendants at the least." 

" Where shall they find a living with such a one as I am ?" 
asked the unhappy prince. " I am but a poor exile, father." 

" For such expenses as that," said the confessor, " the king 
has made provision sufficient. The enormous sums, indeed, 
which he is obliged to disburse to satisfy the King of England 
six hundred and twenty thousand crowns of gold on one 
account, and a hundred and twenty-five thousand on another 
will leave his treasury well-nigh empty." 

The young man murmured something to himself which the 
cordelier did not or would not hear. The words were, " Is 
France fallen so low !" 

The other, however, proceeded, saying, " He has, neverthe- 
less, sufficient left to provide for the maintenance of a friend. 
Here you will find," and he drew a leathern bag from be- 
neath his gown, " the sum of two thousand five hundred crowns 
of the sun. In the top there is also a paper, which, on being 
presented to Aaron Ardenheim, the Jew of Ghent, will pro- 
cure for you an equal sum." He laid the bag upon the table, 
Baying, " And now, my son, farewell." 



ENGLAND PBRKIN WARBECK. 6| 

" Stay, stay !" cried the young prince, gazing at the monej 
with a look of doubt and hesitation. "I can not take'thu 
gold." 

" Take it, my son, take it," said Maillard, " and because 
my royal master can not do all for you that he could wish 
and desire, do not reject that which his friendship and his 
kindness offers. Take it, I say ; and let it be a warrant to 
you that his heart is with you, and that in happier days, when 
the dangers which surround him have passed away, you may 
find in him all you hoped and expected." 

"Ha !" cried Richard Plantagenet, with a brighter look ; 
" if I am so to read the gift, right willingly do I take it, and 
gratefully do I thank him. So express me to him, father ; and 
now farewell!" 

How eagerly the heart of youth grasps at the fallacies of 
hope. 



CHAPTER IV. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

THERE was a gay and brilliant court assembled in the good 
old town of Malines. The coming of the young archduke was 
expected daily ; and the Duchess Dowager of Burgundy, regent 
of Flanders and Brabant, had left Brussels to meet him on 
the way by which he came. Well and firmly had the sister 
of Edward IV. of England governed the territory intrusted 
to her care ; well had she fulfilled every duty of her high 
station : the humble and obedient wife of an impetuous and 
violent prince : more than a mother to his daughter by his 
first marriage, after that prince's death ; and a mother to his 
daughter's children, when an early fate snatched the amiable 
and unfortunate Mary from a people who had too late learned 
to love her. Wise, prudent, and gentle, yet firm and coura- 
geous, she had successfully triumphed over many difficulties, 
and won the respect and affection, even of a turbulent and 
never contented people. She was in the midst of her court, 
surrounded by all the high nobility of the realm, making va- 
rious arrangements for some of the approaching ceremonies, 
when a letter was brought to her by one of her own attend- 



6 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

ants, who informed her that the messenger was waiting in 
the hall below. 

The princess smiled as she read the contents of the epistle ; 
and, turning to the Prince de Chimay, who was standing near 
her, she said, 

" Read, Monsieur de Chimay. Here is a new pretender 
started up to claim the crown of England from Henry Tudor. 
He calls himself Richard of York ; but it is strange that 
Margaret of York should never have heard of her lost nephew 
for so many years, if he were really living near her, as this 
letter says." 

The Prince de Chimay took the letter and read it ; but he 
lid not smile. 

" This is the young prince, madam," he said, " whom we 
have heard of before when he was at the court of the King 
of France. A rumor reached me the other day that Charles 
had meanly sacrificed him to Henry of Richmond, and, hot 
contented with paying immense sums of money as the price 
of peace, had thrown his honor and good faith also into the 
scale. I suppose your grace will see the young man." 

" Not I," answered Margaret. " This is a second Simnel, 
depend upon it. Richard of York perished in the Tower, I 
do believe, although it is true that, about the time of Bosworth 
Field, a rumor reached me, countenanced in some degree by 
my brother Edward's widow, that her youngest son was alive 
and "had escaped. I judged it merely a report spread by that 
politic lady, to act as some sort of check upon Henry Tudor. 
But this is an impostor, depend upon it." 

" Methinks it were as well," said the Lord of Solre, a man 
famous for his knowledge of the feudal law, and afterward 
Chancellor of Burgundy, " methinks it were as well that your 
highness should see this young man, in order that we may be 
resolved what ground there is for his pretensions. If there be 
even a chance that he is your nephew, you will thus make 
sure that you have no cause for self-reproach hereafter. Doubt- 
less, minute inquiry into the circumstances of his tale will 
speedily show its truth or falsehood." 

" Well, I will see him," answered the duchess, " and soon 
expose the imposture. Richard of York was old enough at 
his father's death "to recollect right well many whom I myself 
remember ; and if I question him about my brother's court, 
this lad will soon display his ignorance unless, indeed, which 
I dare not believe, he be indeed my royal brother's child. 
Write to him, Monsieur de Solre. Say boldly that I believe 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 67 

not his story, but will see him to-morrow at the court of Brus- 
sels, if he desires it. But bid him not present himself to me 
without consideration, as I will take means to probe his story 
to the bottom." 

The letter was written, and the court assembled on the 
following day at Brussels. Expectation was high. Some 
said the pretender would not appear ; others that he would 
come and be exposed ; but there were several who remarked 
that it was not likely King Charles and his council should 
even for a time acknowledge the young man as Richard of 
York, unless he brought pregnant proofs that he roally was 
so. Orders had been given to admit him to the presence of 
the duchess ; and many of her wisest and most experienced 
counselors were assembled round her. 

Hichard Plantagenet did not make her wait. The great 
door of the hall was thrown open within five minutes after 
Margaret had entered ; and the young claimant of the English 
crown was introduced, accompanied by two English gentle- 
men of good repute, but no great fortune, who had followed 
him from Paris. 

He was very plainly dressed. There was neither gold nor 
embroidery to set off his person to advantage ; nothing gaudy 
or factitious in his costume. But the eye of Margaret fixed 
earnestly upon him ; and those who watched her countenance 
saw that she turned deadly pale. 

She was herself again in a moment ; and, lifting her head 
proudly, she said, " How is it, sir, that you venture to present 
yourself before me, endeavoring to impose upon me with a tale 
which would not deceive a child] The persuasions of my 
unfortunate nephew, Lincoln, induced me once to render some 
assistance to an impostor whom I had never seen, and whose 
claims I could not try ; but it is a very different thing to come 
boldly into my presence claiming to be my brother's son, when 
I have every means of discovering, exposing, and punishing 
the cheat. In compassion for your youth, I advise you to re- 
tire at once, and not to risk the consequences which will cer- 
tainly fall upon you if you force me to investigate yotfr pre- 
tensions, and they prove false." 

Richard listened calmly, with his eyes bent down ; and once 
there came a quick flush upon his cheek, as if he were some- 
what moved with anger ; but the instant she had done speak- 
ing he raised his eyes to her face, and gazed at her steadily, 
while he replied, 

" Pardon me, madam, if I do not retire," he said ; " for, to 



68 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

do so, after your words, would be to acknowledge guilt of which 
I am unconscious. I will own that you have good cause to 
doubt ; for the precautions taken to insure my safety have now 
the effect of throwing doubt upon my rights. Knowing, how- 
ever, what those rights are, I* should be wanting in duty to 
myself did I not beseech you to investigate my claim wMh 
the utmost strictness. I stand before you declaring myself to 
be Richard, duke of York or, rather, King of England, if my 
brother Edward be really no more the son of your royal and 
victorious brother Edward IV., and, consequently, your neph- 
ew. These are lofty pretensions, I know ; but I am willing 
that they should be tried by any test you will. Let any one 
come forth to prove who are my parents, if Edward was not 
so. Let any one say who has tutored me in the history of the 
English kings, and in the knowledge of their court and private 
life. In Lambert Simnel's case, these things were proved. 
Let them be proved in mine ; and I am ready to submit to 
any punishment, to death itself, should I be adjudged a coun- 
terfeit. Here I stand in your own royal presence, prepared to 
meet any charge, ready to disprove any accusation, and to 
show, as far as circumstances have left me the power of show- 
ing it, that I am Richard Plantagenet, and your nephew." 

It was evident to"those who knew her best that the duch- 
ess was much moved, though she strove sternly with her emo- 
tions. She answered in the same tone as before, however : 
" There be other means, sir, of trying the truth or falsehood 
of your tale. It would require too much time, and, I may add, 
too much trouble, in a case like this, to trace out your previous 
history, to investigate who was your real father, where you 
were brought up, how you were tutored. First, if you are 
Edward's son, you have doubtless not forgotten your native 
language. Though you speak French well, it is with the ac- 
cent of a foreign land, methinks that of Flanders." 

" Oh no, madam," answered Richard at once, in English ; 
" it must be with that of England ; for I know no Flemish. 
The French tongue I have acquired of late years ; but En- 
glish is my native language." 

" It seems so, indeed," said the duchess, musing. " You 
speak it well, too. Your education has not been neglected. 
But there are other matters. At the period of the death of 
Edward IV. of England, his son Richard, duke of York, was 
old enough to remember now, were he still alive, many a thing 
concerning his father's court, many a minute particular by 
which the truth of your tale may be easily ascertained ; for 



ENGLAND PERK IN WA R B E C K. 69 

such intimate knowledge as would deceive me could not be 
acquired. If you are Richard of York, you must well recol- 
lect your father's court, many of those who dwelt therein, 
what happened after your father's death, what took place in 
the Tower, your mother's person and appearance, your uncle's, 
and those of several near relations." 

" I do remember all these things," replied the young man, 
boldly ; " but yet I might forget them, and still be Duke of 
York ; for, if you remember, I was barely nine years old at 
my father's death, and in the ten years which have passed 
since, all might well be lost to memory. Nevertheless, I rec- 
ollect very much of all that you have mentioned ; for when I 
parted from my mother her last injunction was, never to for- 
get all that I then remembered, but every day to call up again 
afresh the scenes and transactions of my youth, doubtless with 
a view to such circumstances as I am placed in now. I prom- 
ised her to obey her instructions, and I have done so. Some 
things may be lost, it is true, but very little." 

" Lucky that it is so," said the duchess, " for by your mem- 
ory of such events can the reality of yeur story be best tested. 
First, however, let us hear how your escape was effected from 
the Tower. But speak in French, that your reply may be 
heard by these noble lords and ladies. I will testify to them 
that your English is such as few but an Englishman could 
speak." 

"My escape from the Tower," replied the young man, 
" was effected without any difficulty ; and, indeed, there is 
very little to tell concerning it, all was so easy." 

" Why, the princes were strictly guarded," replied Margaret, 
interrupting him ; " so strictly that none could get admission 
even to ascertain whether they were living or dead." 

" True," answered Richard. " I was very strictly guarded 
for a long time, separated from my brother, allowed to see no 
one, not even to walk at liberty in the courts. The only per- 
sons who ever visited me were Robert Brackenbury the gov- 
ernor, who came once a day, and a man called Digby, who 
brought me food and clothes, and sometimes sat and talked 
with me. I remember well, it was one evening of a hot au- 
tumn day, in the month of August, I think, Digby told me 
that there was a rumor of a battle having been fought, some- 
where in the north, near Leicester. I forgot to say that I 
had not seen Brackenbury for many a day, and used to ask 
what had become of him, when I was told that he had gone 
to the wars. However, Digby, when he mentioned a battle, 



70 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

added that we should soon hear more, for Brackenbury, who 
was with my uncle Richard, would certainly send intelligence, 
and that it might come that very night. I was curious to 
know, for the days passed heavily then ; and I got upon the 
table, after he was gone, and looked through the bars of the 
window into the court. I saw that there was a great deal 
of bustle, and people moving to and fro, more than ordinary, 
which amused me, without either raising hope or fear, for I 
knew not that the gain or loss of a battle would any way alter 
my fate." 

" Poor boy," murmured the duchess, in a low voice. 

" At length I got down," continued Richard, " for it was 
growing dark, and I was tired. I could hear people shout- 
ing, but could not distinguish what they said ; and I became 
impatient for the lamp they used to bring me, to read a print- 
ed book which Digby had lent me two days before. At length 
I heard some one at the door, and thought he brought the 
lamp ; but when the door opened three men came in, and I 
was very much frightened, for it was too dark to see their 
faces. One of them, however, raised his voice, saying, ' Oh, 
my prince, do you not remember me ?' and then I recollected 
the voice of an old servant of my mother's, who used to wait 
Upon the mistress of the maids. All that I remember still 
quite well ; but what came next was done in so much haste 
that I hardly knew the particulars even at the time. An- 
other of the men was a monk, one Father Prior ; and the third 
man was Digby. Some one, however, told me that Bracken- 
bury was dead, and my uncle Richard too, and that I must 
stay there no longer. They would not even let me wait to 
get clothes, or to gather together any of the things with which 
I used to amuse the weary days ; but out we went through 
the gates and along many dark and narrow streets, the monk 
telling me by the way many a thing which had lately hap- 
pened. They took me to a large, dark house by the river 
side. I should think we were half an hour in reaching it, or 
more. There I found my mother and my sister, Cecily. Eliz- 
abeth was not with them. I remained but a short time there, 
though I thought it very hard to be sent away again ; but I 
was put into a boat with Prior the monk, and the old serv- 
ant Soames, and rowed down the river to a very dirty ship, 
which sailed in a few hours for Antwerp. Thence we jour- 
neyed on to Tournay." 

" The tale is well devised," said the duchess, coldly, " and 
'tis clear you have good information so far. Brackenbury was 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. ff 

lieutenant of the Tower ; but that is matter of common noto- 
riety. Digby, too, was an officer of his. How you learned 
his name I do not know. But tell me what like was this 
Brackenbury. I have seen the man, and remember him." 

" Oh, I remember him right well," replied Richard Plan- 
tagenet. " I shall never forget him. He was a tall, gaunt 
man, with thick, shaggy eyebrows, but not unkind to me, 
though I was terrified at him at first. He had a large scar 
across his cheek and lip, and would sometimes sit and tell me 
how he had been wounded in a battle, in the service of the 
house of York . ' ' ,, . . 

" At Barnet," said the duchess. " Now let me hear some 
what more. When you and your brother, as you call him 
were first seized at Stony Stratford " 

" Stay, madam," exclaimed the prince. " I was not with 
my brother at Stony Stratford. The way was this: my 
brother had gone into Wales with my uncle Rivers, before 
rny father's death ; and after that event he was seized at 
Stratford ; but I was still with my mother ; and I recollect 
quite well what terror was created by the news from 1 North- 
ampton. I was taken out of my bed sound asleep, and car- 
ried with my sisters to the sanctuary at Westminster. We 
had hardly clothes to cover us, and no furniture, so that we 
were forced to sit upon the ground, while the servants brought 
us what was needful from the palace. It was some weeks aft- 
er that my mother was persuaded, by a tall old man in a scar- 
let gown, whom she called your Eminence, to give me up to 
my uncle Gloucester. Loath, loath was she to do it ; and 
she held me to her breast long, and shed many tears ; but at 
last they took me away from her." 

. "And then they carried you to the Tower," said the duch- 
ess. 

" Your pardon, madam," replied the young prince ; "I 
was first conveyed to the house of the Bishop of London, near 
Paul's Church, where my brother Edward then was. We 
remained there well-nigh a week, I think, and then were car- 
ried to the Tower to prepare for his coronation. I have heard 
people speak ill of my uncle Gloucester, but to me he was 
ever kind and fatherly." 

The duchess looked round the circle, though there was a 
bright drop swimming in her eyes, which well-nigh obscured 
her sight. The Lord of Solre bent his head with a gentle in- 
clination, and spoke a few words in a low tone, as if prompt- 
ing some further question. 



72 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

"Do you remember your father well?" demanded the 
duchess. 

" Right well," replied the young man. " He was taller 
than I am, thpugh I am tall ; and I remember quite well the 
day when his color first changed from a warm, glowing brown 
to a pale white. I had been standing at his knee, telling him 
that I wanted a man's bow and arrows, for that I should soon 
be strong enough to compete at the butts. But suddenly he 
turned very pale, and called to one of tjie gentlemen behind 
to open a window, saying, ' I am faint.' " 

" Come to my heart," cried the duchess, spreading wide her 
arms. " You are indeed my nephew, Richard of York ;" and 
she clasped him fondly to her bosom with the tears falling fast 
from her eyes. 

" That fact," she continued, after the emotion had some- 
what passed, " was carefully concealed from all, lest it should 
create dismay. It was only written to me under seal of 
secrecy ; and I have never heard it mentioned by any one 
but you." 

" It was some months before my father's death," said Rich- 
ard ; " and he rode out many times after, and had gay meet- 
ings at the palace, and feasted the nobility ; but he was al- 
ways pale from that day ; and I remember the good Lord 
Hastings laying his hand upon my shoulder one day the 
hand that had the black spot on it and saying, ' Alas, my 
prince, I fear there is a darker time coming for you.' ' 

" You are indeed my nephew," said the duchess. " Your 
look, your air, your voice, your knowledge, all speak for you ; 
and I acknowledge you as such ; but still we will have every 
inquiry made, and every means taken, to remove all doubts, 
and place your claim upon the surest footing." 

And such was the course pursued ; but it was all in vain. 



CHAPTER V. 
+r 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

ANOTHER gleam of sunshine, bright and delusive. But 
why should I tell all that it fell upon ? The White Rose of 
England was the name bestowed on Richard Plantagenet. 
The court of Burgundy echoed his praises. His grace, his 



ENGLAND PERK IN WARBECK. 73 

beauty, his dignity, were the theme of every tongue ; and his 
skill in sports and exercises won admiration from the chiv- 
alry of the land. A train of gentlemen were appointed to 
attend him as the officers of his household. Twenty archers 
were assigned for his guard, each bearing the White Rose em- 
broidered on his tunic ; and before the house appointed for his 
lodging, floated the banner of his arms, which, in the words 
of him who saw it, old John Molinet, bore three leopards and 
three fleurs-de-lis on one and the same shield, and there, too, 
was his title in Latin, " Armi Richardi, principis Walie et 
ducis Elborasi, filii et heredis Edouardi quarti, nuper Dei 
gratia, regis Anglie et Francie, domini Ybernie."* 

The rumor spread far and wide. Many an exiled English- 
man hastened to the court of the young prince ; and none who 
remembered Edward IV. failed to see the marvelous re- 
semblance between the king and his son. The young arch- 
duke arrived in the territories which had descended to him 
from his mother ; and he, too, acknowledged his young cousin 
of York, for so he called him, though the relationship was but 
nominal. But the report of these things spread beyond Flan- 
ders, and Burgundy, and France. It reached the shores of 
England. It was busy at the court and among the people. 
Richard of York was found. The rumor which had been 
general after the battle of Bosworth Field, that he had escaped 
to the Continent,! was remembered by many, and was now 
spoken of openly as an established fact. 

Men would fain have inquired of the queen dowager if she 
knew of her son's flight, if there was reason to believe that 
he was still living. They would willingly have watched her 
looks, and listened to her words when the pretensions of the 
youth acknowledged by the Duchess of Burgundy were men- 
tioned in her presence. But the policy of Henry VII. had 
insured that there should be no such confirmation of the tale. 
The mother of Edward's children, and of his own queen, on 
whose rights alone rested his title to the throne, was now in 
close confinement. Her estates were confiscated, her wealth 
snatched from her ; and she had no means either of publish- 
ing a recognition of her son's right, or aiding him to support 
them in arms. It is sad that cunning should so often triumph 
over honesty. 

* It will be seen that this heraldic Latin of the court of Burgundy 
was not of the very purest kind ; but I have only ventured to change 
one word, substituting Dei for Deo. 

t More. Polydore Virgil, page 569. Bacon. 



74 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

But still the rumor went forth, still the belief gained ground. 
Secret meetings of noblemen who had supported the White 
Rose in all seasons were held, to deliberate and consult ; and 
many a rich citizen too, groaning under the avaricious op- 
pression of the miser king, and remembering with regret a 
more popular, if not a more virtuous monarch, talked with his 
neighbors of seeing the house of York again upon the throne, 
and looked with hope and expectation toward the shores of 
Flanders. 

Henry was troubled on his uneasy throne ; but with his 
shrewd, remorseless policy he prepared against all events. To 
discredit the pretensions of Richard Plantagenet was one step 
to be taken, to deprive him of the support of foreign princes 
was another, to strike terror into the hearts of those British 
subjects who might be inclined to espouse his cause was a 
third. The first appeared easy. Two men long accused of 
having murdered the sons of Edward IV. in the Tower, but 
who had been suffered to remain unpunished by Henry Tudor, 
were now seized and imprisoned ; and spies were sent over to 
the Low Countries, to discover or to fabricate materials for a 
fictitious history of the youth who claimed the crown of En- 
gland. Sir James Tyrrel and John Deighton were kept in 
close confinement ; and who shall say what were the practices 
used with men who knew their lives were at stake, to induce 
them to confess a crime so serviceable to royalty ? Nay, more, 
who knows what it was they did confess ? All that we are 
sure of is, that a declaration was published in their name, 
acknowledging that Deighton had aided one Miles Forest to 
smother the two young princes, Edward and Richard, in their 
bed, and had then called in Tyrrel, by whose order it was 
done, to view the bodies, and witness that the crime was com- 
plete. They could not point out the place, they said, where 
the corpses were interred, because, though buried at the foot 
of the stair-case, they had afterward been removed by the 
chaplain of the Tower, and the priest was dead. 

The tale was spread abroad by courtly diligence ;* but all 
men thought it strange, that persons who acknowledged the 
murder of their queen's brother should be immediately set at 
liberty, and the principal criminal, Tyrrel, raised high in the 
favor of the king.f The reported confession convinced but 

* It is to be remarked, that these confessions rested only on public 
report, at least so Lord Bacon implies. 

t He was one of the commissioners who concluded the Treaty of 
Estaples with the French. He was governor of Guisnes, and enjoyed 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 75 

few ; and the story which was soon circulated, founded upon the 
letters of Henry's spies, that the youth calling himself Richard 
Plantagenet, speaking the English language perfectly, with- 
out error or accent, bearing the strongest resemblance to Ed- 
ward, king of England, demeaning himself in every look and 
gesture as a prince, was the son of a poor Flemish Jew, keep- 
ing one of the gates of Tournay, seemed too incredible for even 
the most willing to believe it. 

To deprive Richard of York of the support of foreign princes, 
Henry's measures were resolute, but not altogether judicious. 
Garter king at arms was sent to the court of Brussels, to de- 
nounce the pretender to the blood of Plantagenet, and insult 
him in the presence of his great allies. He told his story of 
Richard's birth to the archduke and the duchess dowager in 
presence of all the nobles of the land. But the tale was met 
with indignation and contempt by all ; and his quality of a 
herald barely saved the bold messenger from imprisonment. 
Next came an embassador, chosen from the house of Somerset, 
pretending another object for his mission. With all due rev- 
erence he saluted the archduke, and paid equal honor to the 
duchess dowager, but he took no notice whatsoever of Richard 
Plantagenet, who stood, as her nearest kinsman, on her left 
hand. 

" How is it, sir," demanded Margaret of York, in an indig- 
nant tone, " that you know not my nephew Richard, and do 
not even bend your head to him ?" 

" Your nephew Richard, madam," replied the embassador, 
" has long since passed from this world, and if you please to 
depute any one to examine, I will bring him straight to the 
chapel where the prince is buried." 

" What !" exclaimed the duchess, " when we are told that 
the bodies were removed by the priest, and that no one knows 
where he interred them T 

Richard had heard the insulting message delivered by 
garter king at arms in silent contempt ; but he now turned 
upon the embassador sharply, saying, " I shall not forget your 
words, sir, when I am seated on the throne of England, as I 
trust right soon to be." 

Thus far Henry had no success. Unhappily, the measures 
which he took to intimidate the nobles of England were more 

liberty and distinction at the court of Henry, till the year 1502, when 
he was involved in the disgrace of Suffolk, attainted and beheaded. 
These facts are clearly proved; and Bacon's statement is false that 
Tyrrel was detained in prison. 



76 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

treacherous, more terrible, and more successful. A secret 
meeting was held, to which many powerful, brave, and noble 
gentlemen came, to consider how they should act toward one 
whose pretensions to the crown were -so boldly stated, and 
whose claims had been recognized by a princess well qualified 
to judge of their validity. The minds of men were in great 
doubt ; but yet they leaned to belief. The Duchess of Bur- 
gundy was evidently fully convinced. So had been the King 
of France ; and although he had driven a prince from his 
court, to purchase peace from a great and powerful adversary, 
he had never admitted that a deceit had been practiced on 
him, or asserted that he had discovered a flaw in the title of 
Richard of York. One hundred English gentlemen, headed 
by Sir George Nevil, had acknowledged him publicly in Paris. 
More had recognized his pretensions in Flanders ; and every 
one admitted that, in manners, appearance, and language, he 
gave every proof of the station and the birth he claimed. Yet 
the English nobles, before they periled their lives in his cause, 
demanded further evidence ; and this meeting was called to- 
gether to inquire how it could be obtained. Among the rest, 
there appeared one Sir Robert Clifford. All present but him- 
self were by descent or private attachment firm adherents of 
the house of York. He, however, was Lancastrian by birth 
and faction : the son of black Clifford, who slew young Rut- 
land. Nevertheless they trusted him ; for he seemed warm 
and zealous in the cause of right. He had often seen Richard 
of York, he said, as a boy. He recollected every feature well ; 
and he would undertake to go to Brussels, to see the youth 
of whose claims they were doubtful, and make a true report 
of all that he observed. 

The offer was accepted eagerly, and Clifford set out. He 
was accompanied, or followed immediately, by two others, 
who were not at that meeting, men of high name and station, 
but of little honor or honesty. Clifford, however, was the 
leader and the principal. He was welcomed frankly by the 
Duchess of Burgundy, although an ancient enemy of her 
house. He had every opportunity of investigation afforded 
him. He saw and conversed with Richard of York, and he 
wrote letters to the Yorkist party in England, stating that 
he had recognized the young prince at once, that his features 
were little changed, and that there remained no room what- 
ever to doubt his identity with the son of Edward IV. 

Was Clifford a traitor even now? Was he betraying men 
to their ruin, or were after inducements held out, which won 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBEOK. 77 

him from truth to falsehood ? It is a dark secret, upon which, 
probably, no light will ever shine. But what we do know is, 
that Henry sent gentleman after gentleman to the court of 
Brussels, with secret instructions to insinuate themselves into 
the confidence of Richard Plantagenet, to discover all his se- 
crets, and to learn who were his favorers and correspondents 
in England. Meanwhile, to cover their treachery, he pro- 
nounced them traitors, and caused the doom of outlawry to 
be pronounced against them from the cross of St. Paul's. He 
debased himself to corrupt servants and to bribe priests and 
confessors, and he was but too successful. The names of 
some of the best men in England were soon enrolled on his 
black list of proscription, and he determined to strike a blow 
that would carry terror to all wavering hearts. 

The consummation of the treachery is described by an eye- 
witness. " A short time after, there arrived at the court of 
the King of the Romans, where the said Richard was, three 
great personages of England, seeking refuge with the said 
Richard, and assuring him that King Henry had banished 
them from the kingdom, on account of their supporting his 
cause, which they felt to be just, loyal, and well-founded. 
These three personages were amicably received by the said 
Richard, and he made his principal counselors of them ; so 
much so, that nothing was done, either openly or in secret, 
that did not pass through their hands ; and, in fact, they 
worked over the water so well, by sending their rescripts and 
otherwise, that the greatest men of England adhered to the 
quarrel of the said Richard, promising to favor his descent in 
that country, in assurance of which many of them sent letters 
sealed under their hands, and, among others, the high cham- 
berlain of King Henry. Altogether, more than forty prom- 
ised him assistance, and forty thousand florins to sustain his 
cause ; and when the said letters, under seal, were given to 
Richard, these three great lords, by whom all business was 
transacted, communicated secretly to Henry that he should 
send for them, for it was time to return. The king sent off 
a man from Calais, who soon found himself in the town of 
Malines. Immediately, without regarding day or hour, they 
saddled their horses, and, possessed of the said sealed letters 
sent by those in England, set out suddenly from Malines, 
without taking leave of the said Richard ; and, entering no 
large town lest they should be followed, they lodged first at 
Bethune, thence to Calais, and from Calais toward the King 
of England.' 1 



ti ^ DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Pity it is the historian, does not give the names of these 
three gentlemen, that their fame might find fitting note in 
history. However, Sir Robert Clifford was one of them ; 
and, upon the information given by them, the Lord Fitzwal- 
ter, Sir Simon de Montfort, Sir Thomas Thwaits, William 
d'Aubigny, Robert Ratcliffe, Thomas Cressner, and Thomas 
Astwood were seized, tried, and condemned for corresponding 
with Richard, calling himself Duke of York. Four heads 
were immediately brought to the block, and terror spread 
through the land. The partisans of the unhappy prince 
learned, in the trial court arid on the scaffold, that they were 
betrayed, and knew not by whom. They had to deal on on^ 
side of the water with one who had no mercy, and on the oth- 
er with persons who had no honor. No wonder that zeal 
grew cold and doubtful. 

Suspicion, however, was soon directed to a particular ob- 
ject. On the 7th of January, 1494, Henry held a council in 
the Tower, at which Sir William Stanley, the lord chamber- 
lain, was present. Henry owed him much life, a victory, a 
crown ; but such men have no gratitude. Stanley is said to 
have declared privately, that if he were sure the new claim- 
ant of the blood of York were really the son of Edward IV., 
he would not bear arms against him, and that was treason in 
the eyes of Henry. 

Suddenly, in the midst of deliberation, Sir Robert Clifford 
presented himself before the council, and boldly accused the 
lord chamberlain of treason. Stanley was arrested, tried, and 
condemned. But his execution was not yet. He was a vic- 
tim of sufficient importance to be reserved. The very benefits 
he had conferred upon the king might give a value to his 
death, which ought not to be cast away. If the king spared 
not him, whom would he spare ? And Henry reserved the 
bloody deed for the fitting moment. All the partisans of the 
house of York in England were struck with alarm, and re- 
mained quiet, fearing to bring the merciless hand of power 
upon their heads, or to aggravate the fate of Sir William 
Stanley ; and the Duchess of Burgundy and her nephew, 
clearly perceiving that but little aid could be expected from 
the nobility of England, adjourned to a more happy time the 
advancement of his claim upon the crown. No movements 
took place ; no ships were gathered together, no soldiers mus- 
tered ; and Henry, judging from this inactivity that all in- 
terest in the unhappy prince was at an end, sent a solemn 
embassy to the archduke, demanding that the impostor, as he 
styled him, should be given into his hands. 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 79 

The reply which he received was brief, and not satisfactory. 
The archduke's co.uncil answered, that it was his wish and 
intention to live on good terms with the King of England, 
and that, consequently, he would give no assistance to the 
Duke of York, but that the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy 
was sovereign in the territories forming her dowry, and there- 
fore he could not interfere with what she might be pleased to 
do. Thus ended the matter for a time. 

Richard of York remained in Flanders and Brabant, lov- 
ed, admired, and acknowledged. He took part in all the 
great festivities of the day, and in all the ceremonies of that 
splendid court, and never, by word, look, or gesture, betrayed 
that he was other than that which he appeared. For more 
than two years he remained under watchful and clear-seeing 
eyes, surrounded by spies, and betrayed by several of those in 
whom he trusted. Methinks there was sufficient time to as- 
certain if he were or were not the son of a Jew of Tournay. 
Margaret of York denied that it was so. All her court rec- 
ognized the youth as her nephew. The lords of Burgundy 
and the princes of Germany treated him as the Duke of 
York ; and all that Henry could allege to account for these 
strange facts was, that Margaret, the amiable and the kind, 
the aunt of his own queen, hated him with so mad an enmity 
that she sought to dethrone him and her niece, only to place 
upon the throne of England the son of a Jew of Tournay : 
that Margaret,. the high-minded and the dignified, was play- 
ing the part of an actress on the stage ; and that the son of 
a poor Jew had been found, with talents so consummate as 
to be able to assume at once the character, the manners, the 
language of a prince ; to acquire a foreign language so per- 
fectly as to deceive the nicest ear, and to learn a tale filled 
with minute particulars, without ever forgetting one circum- 
stance or betraying one inconsistency. Verily the explana- 
tion was not probable. 



80 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER VI. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

THERE were /commotions in Ghent, riots in the town of 
Bruges : the people of Antwerp were discontented and moody ; 
and many a commercial, many a manufacturing town remon- 
strated with the archduke upon the state of the country, and 
the severe injury that all the best interests of the land were 
sustaining. Henry VII. had prohibited all traffic between 
England and the Netherlands. The great mart for Flemish 
merchandise was closed, and every branch of trade suffered. 

Richard Plantagenet felt that he was the cause of danger 
to the prince and distress to the people. He was like the sin- 
ful prophet in the tempest-tossed ship, and he made up his 
mind to be the sacrifice. 

It was night. The gates of the palace at Brussels were 
closed ; and in the cabinet of the queen dowager, in close 
consultation with her, sat the young Archduke Philip. She 
had still great influence over his mind. He recollected the 
tenderness with which she had guarded his youth ; he recol- 
lected the firmness and wisdom with which she had governed 
his territories ; and he was ready to yield to her advice and 
bend to her opinion ; but yet he wished to lay before her the 
representations and remonstrances of his council before he 
acted in any way. 

She listened patiently for some time, but then she started 
as if with some surprise ; then listened again, and then said, 
not quite calmly, but yet in a subdued tone, 

" I never yet did know, your highness, that any prince sac- 
rificell his honor, his dignity, and his good faith ibr a mere 
temporary object without losing that he strove for, and call- 
ing down after punishment on his head. If you have any 
doubt that this young man is Richard of York, my nephew ; 
if you have any reason to believe that he is a son of a Jew at 
Tournay ; if you suspect for one moment, as the insolent 
Warham ventured to insinuate, that I have tutored him to 
act a part, that I have concealed aught or fabricated aught, 
send him forth from these dominions at once. But if you 
believe him to be the son of my brother Edward, king of En- 



i 

ENGLAND PERK IN WAR BECK. 81 

gland ; if the minute examination of his claims and of the 
false story of Henry Tudor, into which we have entered, is 
sufficient to convince you that he is Richard Plantagenet, 
then you are bound in honor to give him, at least, shelter here 
against the power of his great adversary. The people of 
Ghent have revolted fourteen times within my memory, and 
the moment one pretext is taken from them they will find an- 
other. Think not that, by any unworthy concession, they can 
be rendered peaceable or obedient ; for it is with the weak 
only that they strive, and the stern and resolute are their 
masters." 

As she spoke there was a low, quiet knock at the door ; 
and, on permission being given, Richard Plantagenet entered. 
He was received warmly by the duchess, and warmly, also, 
by the archduke ; fr Philip felt that he had dealt somewhat 
ungenerously with the youth, in his wishes, if not in his acts, 
and he sought to make atonement. Though a seat was placed 
near Richard, he did not take it, but stood by the side of the 
table, and, with that mixture of grace and dignity which all 
cotemporaries have mentioned, and even the Tudor writers 
of a subsequent period have admitted, he said, 

" I am happy to have found your highnesses together, for I 
have something to say to my two best friends on earth. I ex- 
pressed to you some time ago, my lord archduke, the grief 
which I felt for the interruption of commerce between this 
land and England, knowing that it had been inflicted on my 
account. I have lately heard with much greater pain that 
the people of the good towns murmur, and show a rebellious 
and disobedient spirit. Your protection of myself is the cause 
of all this, and that cause must exist no longer. I do beseech 
you both to let me go." 

" Nay, nay, that can not be," replied the archduke. " It 
would bring shame and disgrace upon my name to send away 
this dear lady's nephew, a prince of the house of Plantagenet, 
of whose claims there can be no doubt." 

" No disgrace, mighty prince," replied Richard, " if you 
send him not away disgracefully. It is necessary for the 
peace of your dominions that I should go. This Henry Tu- 
dor has, in reality, no warrior's spirit in his breast. He was 
successful in one great battle against a braver man than him- 
self; but he was successful by the aid of those, most of whom 
he has now either imprisoned or slain. In your case, he dare 
not attack you in arms for affording a refuge to the heir of 
Edward IV., but he .has cunningly contrived a plan to arm 

D 2 



t 
82 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

your own subjects against you, and to injure you and oppress 
me by their hands. This I can not see and remain. I am 
eager, as both you and this noble lady know, to strike a blow 
for the recovery of my father's crown. I am sure that the 
hearts of the English people are with me, and I believe that 
the terror of this bloody man's executions has passed away. 
Give, then, but a few ships, and a few regular soldiers. 
There is many a gallant heart and many an adventurous 
spirit who will gladly accompany me, and I will riot doubt 
that, as Richmond, with an unjust cause, won the crown 
from my uncle Richard, so shall I, with a holy and a right- 
eous cause, win the crown from him. Then will I speak of 
gratitude, then will I speak of love." 

The archduke looked to the duchess ; and the duchess gazed 
on him. 

" So be it, my dear boy," she said, at length. " I have 
long wished to aid you in ascending the throne of your father ; 
but I alone have not had means sufficient ; and this great 
prince was tied by the engagements of his council till these 
hostile measures were taken by Henry Tudor. Those en- 
gagements are now at an end; and he will aid you well, I 
am sure. I will leave you with him to consult over the 
means ; but there is one thing you must promise me, which 
is, that if you are unsuccessful in your first attempt, you re- 
turn to me do you promise ?" 

" I do," replied Richard ; and the duchess left the cabinet. 

"The promise I have given," said Plantagenet, as soon as 
she was gone, " must not prevent your highness from carry- 
ing on negotiations with England, nor from entering into any 
stipulations consistent with your own honor, and tending to 
the benefit of your people. I have promised to return if un- 
successful ; but I have not promised to stay. If I am suc- 
cessful, any treaty that you sign will be with me, and if not, 
I promise you I will throw no impediment in the way of its 
execution." 

" There spoke the noble blood of Plantagenet," said the 
young archduke, who, though only seventeen years of age, had 
acquired the manners and demeanor of a man and a sover- 
eign.* " Your conduct, my noble friend, would prove your 

* He was born on the 22d of June, 1478, according to Molinet, who 
announces the fact in the following quaint terms: "During the time 
that my lord, the Duke of Austria, kept the field in front of the enemy, 
as has been said, and labored for the public weal, the Duchess of 
Austria, his spouse, only daughter of the Duke Charles, whom God ab- 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 83 

race, were other proofs wanting ; but now let us call in the 
Lord of Bergues, upon whom you and I can both rely, and 
consult him as to what may best be done to insure success to 
your expedition." 

The proposal was grateful to Richard of York, for De Ber- 
gues had always been among his friends ; and he was imme- 
diately summoned. 



CHAPTER VII. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

ON the 3d of July, 1495, the inhabitants of Sandwich 
were much surprised by the appearance of a considerable mil- 
itary force, headed by the royal officers, entering the good 
town ; and more surprised still was created when the com- 
manders of the train bands were called upon to consult with 
the mayor and the higher military authorities for the defense 
of the coast. Various rumors got abroad ; but great care was 
taken to prevent the common people from receiving any defin- 
ite intelligence in regard to the threatened danger. Some 
said the French were about to land ; some said the Germans ; 
but all men were ready to defend the country from invasion ; 
and a small party of military, with the whole of the train 
bands, marched out in the course of the morning and took their 
way toward the sea-shore. 

When within a short distance of the beach, the townsmen 
were more puzzled than ever by the orders they received. 
Means were taken to conceal the force collected, and especial- 
ly to hide the regular troops, while a small party only of the 
citizen soldiers showed itself within sight of the sea, and re- 
mained waiting anxiously during the greater part of the morn- 
ing. At length, however, several large ships of Flemish 
build, which had been apparent in the distance for some time, 
were seen rapidly to approach the shore ; and when as near 
as they could safely come, they lay to, without dropping an 
anchor. Boats were lowered and manned ; and a small body 

solve ! worked for the good of the country on her part, and was deliver- 
ed of a fair son in her town of Bruges, toward three o'clock of the day, 
the 22d of June, in the year seventy-eight." 



84 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

of archers and pikemen, under three pennons, were landed upon 
the beach. Still no movement was made to oppose them ; 
but, on the contrary, one of the royal officers rode forward, as 
if to parley with the strangers. When at a distance from 
them he reined in his horse, and inquired whose men they 
were, and what they came for. 

" We are under the banner of Richard, duke of York," ( 
replied one of the strangers, who seemed to be in command. 
" He is now in the royal ship there, with the standard at the 
mast-head ; and he comes to claim the allegiance of all men 
in England who remain true to the house of York." 

" Ha!" said the royal officer ; " is this the young prince of 
whom we have heard so much from the court of Burgundy ? 
If so, I pray you send and beseech him to laud. He will find 
here none but true and loyal subjects, ready to live and die 
with him. He and his companions will be received with all 
honor ; and whatever we can do to serve him, with body or 
goods, we are ready to do with all our hearts." 

" I will g0 to him myself with your message," replied the 
officer commanding the infantry ; " and right glad will he be 
to hear that he has such faithful friends in this part of Kent." 

The boat which conveyed him soon reached the ship in 
which Richard Plantagenet had sailed from the coast of 
Flanders ; and the message which was delivered for a mo- 
ment made the heart of the young prince beat with joy ; but 
the officer who bore it speedily damped his hopes. 

11 1 have thought fit, my lord," he said, " to fulfill my com- 
mission exactly ; but I fear they are trying to cheat you. 
That little party on the hill is not the only body of armed 
men near, if my eyes have not deceived me. I caught the 
gleam of a long line of pikes above the edge of what seemed 
a deep ditch ; and I am sure I saw a pretty strong body of 
horse among those trees there. Better let me return alone, till 
we have ascertained the facts. I will keep all the boats along 
the shore, ready to re-embark the men in Case of danger ; and 
should I find that they are dealing with us in good faith, I will 
send the barges back to your highness, that you may disem- 
bark the rest of the troops." 

A brief counsel was held among the principal persons pres- 
ent, and it was agreed to follow the advice which had been 
given. The boat with the officer commanding the infantry 
rowed back to the shore, watched eagerly by Richard of York 
arid his companions. Ere it touched the beach, however, a 
sight presented itself which filled every heart with dismay. 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBEOK. 85 

Out of the deep cuts in the ground, and from behind the sand- 
hills and a little clump of trees which sheltered a farm-house, 
poured out several thousand men, horse and foot, well armed, 
and led by a royal banner. A large body of cavalry, consist- 
ing of two complete troops, dashed down toward the barges 
from which the Flemish infantry had landed, while the En- 
glish pikemen and archers drew closer and closer round the 
little body of invaders. There was no means of giving them 
support ; for, with the exception of two small skiffs, all the 
boats were at the shore ; and with a sickening feeling of hor- 
ror and anxiety, the unhappy prince turned away his eyes. 

When he lifted them again to the scene upon the beach, the 
commander of his infantry had sprang on shore, and was run- 
ning in haste toward his men, who, BOW aware of the danger 
in which they were placed, were moving slowly and in good 
ordr toward the water. They were too late, however. The 
troops of Henry were upon them before they could gain the 
boats, and in an instant all was one scene of confusion and 
strife. They fought well ; they fought long. Little quarter 
was asked or given ; but ere half an hour was over, none of 
that small body of infantry remained alive, except a few pris- 
oners ;* and with a heavy heart Richard Plantagenet hoisted 
sail, and bore away from the shores of England. Thus ended 
the first attempt of the son of Edward IV. to assert in arms 
his title to the crown ; and, according to the promise he had 
given, he returned to Flanders, where he was again received 
with every mark of kindness. 

During his absence, however, the eagerness of the great 
trading communities of the country to conclude a peace with 
England, and recover the commerce they had lost, had produced 
a profound effect upon the council of the Archduke Philip ; 
and it was clear that, sooner or later, the unhappy wanderer 
would be obliged to seek a refuge on some other shore. Nego- 
tiations were actually going on between England and the Neth- 
erlands ; and day by day some advance was made toward a 
treaty which was destined to deprive the prince of the shelter 
which had been hitherto afforded him. His cause was still 
warmly espoused by the good Duchess Dowager of Burgundy, 
and she eagerly sought to prepare for her nephew some stronger 




tradicted by the Burgundian writers, who state that none were hanged 
but such as were proved to be natives of England. 



86 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY, 

support in the prosecution of his claim than she could herself 
afford. Wherever she turned her eyes, indeed, difficulties met 
her. The King of France was full of other purposes. The 
politic King of Aragon was in close alliance with Henry Tu- 
dor. The King of Scotland had but lately concluded a truce 
with the great enemy of Richard Plantagenet. It was to the 
latter, however, that her eyes turned with the best hope ; for 
James was known to be bold, generous, and warlike, and the 
duchess took care that her nephew's claims and the proofs of 
his birth should be made fully known at the court of Scotland. 
The wishes of Richard himself turned toward Ireland. It 
was the land in which he had first asserted his title to the 
English throne. There he had been received with warmth 
and kindness, when he had none to support him but those who 
came voluntarily forward in his cause. There, he flattered 
himself, his claim would now be generally recognized, after it 
had been so fully admitted by more than one sovereign prince, 
and when, instead of a nameless wanderer, he could present 
himself with a royal train, and many a gallant man-at-arms. 
To Ireland, therefore, ho sailed, before the signature of the 
treaty between Henry and the archduke compelled him to quit 
the court of Burgundy ;* but all his hopes were disappointed; 
and in Ireland, though he found many to recognize his title, 
he found none to support his cause. f 

* By the fourth article of the Treaty of 1496, Henry and Philip mutu- 
ally agreed not to admit the enemies of each other into their territories. 
By the fifth article, each of the contracting parties undertook to expel 
from his territories such enemies of the other as had been previously ad- 
mitted, and to do so within one month after a formal notice should be 
given to that effect by the other. It is not quite clear that Richard 
Plantagenet sailed for Ireland previous to the signature of the treaty ; 
but, as these articles were evidently leveled at him, he must, at all events, 
have sailed within a month after. 

t I have no proof to offer, that the Duchess of Burgundy actually held 
any communication with James IV. of Scotland ; but it is perfectly evi- 
dent, from the reception given by that monarch to Richard Plantagenet, 
that, even before the landing of the latter on the shores of Scotland, the 
king must have received very convincing evidence of his royal descent. 
The speech, reported to have been addressed to the Scottish sovereign 
by Richard, is so clearJy a fabrication of the Tudor historians that it re- 
quires, no comment. More, Grafton, and Bacon have all been justly ac- 
cused of something more than partiality ; but More, with all his wit, and 
Bacon, with all his wisdom, were not capable of manufacturing a tale 
which would not betray the handiwork of the artificer when compared 
with the facts ascertained by public documents, 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 87 



CHAPTER VIII. 
PERKIN WARBECK. 

KING JAMES IV. of Scotland was riding back toward the 
Palace of Holyrood after the hunting of the deer. Only a few 
of his attendants were with him, and his dusty dress of green 
did little to distinguish the monarch from the rest ; but there 
was a majesty in his air, given very naturally by the habit of 
command, which might well attract the passing eye. Such, 
it seems, was the case ; for a horseman, splendidly dressed, and 
followed by two attendants and a page, who was riding along 
the road toward Edinburgh, turned to look at the little body 
of hunters as he passed them, and then springing to the ground, 
threw his rein to the boy, and approached the king on foot. 
His dress was not of the land in which he then was, but he 
was evidently a man of high distinction ; for round his neck 
he wore a chain of gold, and gilded spurs over his untanned 
boots. James halted instantly, and asked, 

" What is your pleasure, noble sir ?" 

The other, however, shook his head, with a smile, and re- 
plied, in French, "Alas ! sire, I have no English; but, if I mis- 
take not much, you are James, king of Scotland." 

" You are right, sir," answered the king, in the same tongue. 
" Let me ask, if I may without lack of courtesy, who it is that 
speaks to me?" 

" A very humble person, sire," replied the stranger ; " a 
poor and little-renowned knight, but one of a good house and 
name, Rudiger de Lalaing."* 

"A famous name, indeed," replied the king. "We have 
heard of your deeds of arms, sir knight, and welcome you 
gladly to our realm of Scotland. I pray you mount your horse, 
and bear us company to our palace. If you have any business 
to communicate, you can speak it by the way." 

* This name is written in various ways: Rodighe, and sometimes 
even Modighe. It was really, however, Rudiger de Lalaing ; and, al- 
though the nobleman who accompanied Richard of Plantagenet to Scot- 
land was not so celebrated a captain as his great relation, Jame de La- 
laing, he was, nevertheless, a distinguished knight, and maintained the 
high name of the Burgundian chivalry at the court of James by many 
gallant feats of arms. 



83 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Lalaing did as he was desired ; and the king's attendants 
fell a little back as he rode forward with the stranger. The 
monarch and his companion were seen speaking eagerly to- 
gether. Gestures, as if of wonder and surprise, on the part 
of the king, were remarked by the attendants. Curiosity led 
them a little nearer, as they approached the city, and they 
beheld the foreign knight place three sealed packets in the 
hand of the king, saying, 

" This from his imperial majesty, Maximilian ; this from 
his son, the Archduke Philip ; this from the King of France. 
More than one dispatch, I believe, has already reached your 
highness from the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy." 

James bent his head, saying, " I have received them, and 
will read these with all attention and respect. Your tale sur- 
prises me, I will acknowledge, for my ally Henry, king of 
England, has industriously spread a statement that the per- 
son at the court of Burgundy, pretending to be Duke of York, 
is an impostor, the son of a Jew of Tournay, tutored to act a 
part by thetluchess dowager." 

The blood mounted fiercely in Lalaing' s cheek. " He is a 
false traitor," he exclaimed, " and has told a lie. Margaret 
of Burgundy is incapable of tutoring any one to practice a 
deceit." 

"So I have always judged," replied the king; "but that 
part of the tale might be false and the other true. She might 
be herself deceived. Nevertheless, I will read these letters 
with due attention, and will willingly receive the prince at a 
public audience. I call him the prince, because I can not 
believe that three great and wise sovereigns, as well as a near 
relation of the person he pretends to be, would admit his claims 
and acknowledge his birth without clear evidence of the truth 
of his story." 

11 The same evidence can be laid before your highness," 
answered Lalaing ; " and now I will take my leave, and in- 
form the duke of your gracious promise to see him as soon as 
your convenience serves." 

" He shall hear from me this very night," said James ; and 
then he pressed the foreign knight to ride on with him to 
Holyrood, and partake of some refreshment. 

Lalaing declined, however, and turned away to rejoin his 
young locd. 

A truce existed between England and Scotland ; but James 
would not receive the claimant to the English throne in secret 
or even in private.. He fixed the day and hour, and invited 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBBCK. 89 

all the nobles of his court to be present, that they might hear 
and judge as well as himself. All eyes were fixed upon the 
young man when he entered ; and there was many a one in- 
clined to doubt or to disbelieve ; but there was a grace and a 
dignity in the demeanor of Richard Plantagenet, which, added 
to the beauty of his person, and the frank openness of his coun- 
tenance, soon dissipated all injurious prejudices. He looked, 
he moved, he spoke as a prince ; and the perfect command of 
the English language which he displayed, the want of all 
foreign accent or idiom, at once refuted the tale of his being 
the son of a foreign Jew. He made no long harangue,* but, 
after his first introduction to the king, entered calmly and 
quietly into the details of his history, and tendered such proofs 
of his birth as left no doubt upon the mind of the monarch, 
or of his courtiers,- as to the justice of his pretensions. He 
was accompanied by several Burgundian and several English 
gentlemen, who confirmed in many instances the facts he 
mentioned ; and, after listening patiently, the king took him 
by the hand, and assured him that he should never have reason 
to repent that he had put himself under his protection. 

Some further conversation followed ; and, in the end, James 
turned to the Earl of Huntley, saying, " My noble cousin, you 
know that I am bound upon a pilgrimage, which must occupy 
me some days. I shall, therefore, put this young prince under 
your care and guidance till my own return, beseeching you to 
show him every courtesy and hospitality. When I come back, 
we will have jousts and games, to put the mettle of these 
gentlemen of Burgundy to the trial. We will then, also, take 
counsel as to what is to be done in the present circumstances ; 
ibr the heir of the house of York shall not appeal in vain to 
James of Scotland." 

The earl stood forward frankly, saying, " I will fulfill youV 
highness' s will to the best of my poor power. My lord duke, 
I will entreat you for the time to lodge at my house, with such 
attendants as you may need. The rest of your train we will 

* The oration given by Lord Bacon is, as I have before said, evi- 
dently a fabrication from beginning to end. The language and turn of 
expression is altogether of a later period ; and the statements differ 
materially from those put forth by Richard Plantagenet in his procla- 
mation, which is the only known document regarding his pretensions 
that was not carefully suppressed under the Tudor dynasty. The ad- 
dress of the young prince to the King of Scots, as furnished by the 
noble author, is, in fact, merely one of those imaginary speeches which 
historians in all ages have not scrupled to manufacture for the persons 
whose histories they relate. 



90 DARK SCE3S 7 ES OF HISTORY. 

find lodgings for in the city ; and though, perhaps, we can not 
show you here such rich fields and golden harvests as you have 
seen elsewhere, nor such splendid scenes and glittering pageant- 
ry as France and Burgundy afford, yet we have blue mount- 
ains where we will teach you to hunt the roe and the deer ; 
and we have bold hearts and strong hands which never yet 
failed a friend at his need. I will now beseech your grace to 
follow me, after taking leave of my royal lord, and I will then 
lead you to my humble dwelling." 



CHAPTER IX. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

A BRIGHT and beautiful girl stood by the side of the stout 
Earl of Huntley, on the evening of the day just mentioned ; 
nor was it alone perfection of feature nor beauty of coloring 
that rendered her so lovely. The dark-brown hair, the pure 
blue eye, the fine straight nose, the lips like rounded rose leaves, 
the glowing cheek, the broad snow-white forehead, the fine 
arched eyebrows were nothing without that beaming bright- 
ness of expression, without those soul-gleams which sparkled 
in the eye, and played about the lips, sometimes in sunny 
smiles, sometimes with the intense light of thought, and some- 
times with the shadow of deep feeling. Now she was in her 
gayest mood ; and laughingly did bright Catharine Gordon 
tease her father to tell her why such preparations as she had 
seen were making in the house. Who was expected ? she 
asked. Who was the great man coming 1 

" I saw you walk down the street some hours ago," she 
said, " with a train fit for the Highlands ; and you stopped 
and pointed to the house ; and then there were manifold court- 
esies, and bows and ceremonies enow. I must and will know 
whom I am to receive, that I may do, with all discretion, the 
honors of the house in place of my mother." 

" Guess, Kate," cried the stout earl, " guess ; for on my 
life I have no mind to satisfy a woman's curiosity. 'Tis an 
ever-craving appetite, which one morsel but serves to strength- 
en for more food." 

"Is it an English embassador?" asked Catharine. The 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 91 

earl shook his head. "Is it a French envoy ? or a Spanish 
don?" 

The earl answered "No." 

" Then it must be some Burgundian noble, or some German 
prince," exclaimed Catharine. 

" Near the truth, yet far from it," replied her father. " But, 
come, I will tell thee, Kate. It is the White Rose of En- 
gland." 

"The White Rose!" repeated Catharine Gordon, with a 
thoughtful look. " That is a flowery metaphor. I hope this 
white rose has not many thorns." 

" Thorns for his enemies, I trust," replied Lord Huntley, 
" but sweet leaves for his friends. Come, sit you down, Kate, 
and I will tell you the history, for he will soon be here ;" and 
placed beside him, she listened to the tale of Richard Plan- 
tagenet, with her eyes often swimming in bright dew, as she 
heard the sorrows and reverses which had crowded thickly 
into his brief life. 

The tale was not quite finished when Richard of York ar- 
rived ; and certainly, if, in the bright imagination of the young 
heart, she had painted the object of her interest in glowing col- 
ors, she thought them cold and insufficient when she saw him. 

But we must pass over the next weeks lightly. It was a 
time of happy dreams for Richard Plantagenet. It was a 
time of fatal dreams for Catharine Gordon . There were dance, 
and song, and music. There were the gay hunting-party, the 
wild, reckless ride among blue and gleamy hills. There was 
the wandering by murmuring streams and glassy lakes. 
There were the moments of visionary meditation and of sweet 
converse. 

It was impossible that two young hearts, thus brought to- 
gether, should not draw closer and closer to each other. They 
could not help it. There were the ties of sympathy, and mu- 
tual tastes, and accomplishments common to both. Deep in- 
terest on the one side, warm admiration on the other ; grace, 
beauty, feeling, fancy, all twined a net around them, from 
which there was no escape. The earl saw the growing pas- 
sion, and mused over it much. At first he thought it would 
have been well otherwise ; but that youth had won marvel- 
ously upon his affections, and he repeated over and over again 
to himself, " He is the son of the fourth Edward. True, the 
fortunes of his house are low ; but where is the blood with 
which that of Plantagenet might not mingle ? and there may 
be a brighter day beyond this cold present time. If England 



93 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

do but rise in his favor, and Scotland lend her aid, the crown 
of his ancestors will be his, and my Catharine seated on a 
throne. I will let things take their course. God grant it be 
for the best ! Would that the king acknowledged him more 
openly. He can have no doubt, and yet he seems to hesitate." 

The hesitation continued not long, however ; for, at the 
end of a few weeks, Richard Plantagenet was finally acknowl- 
edged and received at the court of Scotland as Duke of York. 
Jousts, passages of arms, and many a sport and pastime suc- 
ceeded ; but counsels were also held and consultations took 
place ; and it was rumored in the land that war against En- 
gland was in preparation, a report rarely unpleasant in those 
days to Scottish ears. Men began to call their retainers to- 
gether, and to polish up their armor ; and all eyes turned to- 
ward the border, with a longing desire to spoil the neighbor- 
ing state. 

The wars of those days combined pleasure and profit, in a 
way of which we can probably form no idea. The pastimes 
of almost every man were more or less warlike ; and a foray 
over the border was much like an Indian hunting expedition, 
in which men went out at once ibr sport and food. Thus the 
very rumor spread great satisfaction through the capital of 
Scotland, and the gladness of the court was increased and con- 
firmed by the announcement of an approaching marriage. Be- 
fore war was proclaimed, it was affirmed that James, king of 
Scotland, would bestow his cousin, Catharine Gordon, the 
most beautiful and accomplished of the Scottish ladies, upon 
Richard, duke of York ; and in this union the people saw the 
certainty of great efforts against the neighboring country. The 
very act would bind the monarch to assert the claim of the 
young prince to the crown of England. So the people thought, 
and they thought rightly. 

The marriage took place in the midst of splendor and fes- 
tivity, and a few short weeks of the brightest happiness that 
earth can give were granted to the two lovers in each other's 
arms. There was nothing like disappointment for them. 
Hope and expectation for once found fruition ; and if they 
loved before, they loved better still now, when bound together 
by an everlasting tie. They heard the trumpet sound to arms 
with a sigh, though the prize to be struggled for was a crown. 

The Scottish army marched forth with all the pomp and 
circumstances of war, and crossed the English border amid 
the brown shades of autumn.* This was no predatory foray, 

1496. 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 93 

no wild and sweeping incursion of frontier marauders, but it 
was a royal expedition, headed by a king, and by one who 
claimed to be a king. Order and regularity marked the ad- 
vance of the troops ; banner and pennon, cannon arid culver- 
in, the long lance of the trooper, the pike, and the bow, and 
the ax of the infantry, came pouring on in a long line over the 
frontier ; and at the head of all appeared James, who was to 
fall, defeated, at Flodden, and Richard, who was to die a pris- 
oner in London. Seldom have two more princely-looking men 
gone forth to war against a great enemy ; and never did a 
Scottish army enter England with less violence or injury to 
the land through which they passed. 

Still, as the royal host advanced, proclamation was made 
every where before it, in the name of Richard, by the grace 
of God King of England and of France, Lord of Ireland, 
Prince of Wales, inviting all men to flock to the standard of 
their lawful king, and setting forth, in brief but comprehen- 
sive terms, the claim of Plantagenet to the throne of England. 
It told how in his early years he had escaped, by God's might, 
out of the Tower of London, and had dwelt in divers coun- 
tries beyond sea, while Henry Tudor usurped the crown. It 
told how the same Henry Tudor, as soon as he heard that 
Richard, duke of York, was alive, had wrought by all subtle 
means for his destruction ; how he had accused him of being 
an impostor ; had offered large sums to corrupt the princes 
who had taken his part ; how he had seduced his servants, 
such as Sir Robert Clifford, to practice against his person, and 
forsake his righteous quarrel. It set forth all, too, which 
Henry had done to oppress and grind the English people, and 
showed how he had put to death many of the noblest gentle- 
men in the land, and kept in perpetual imprisonment Edward, 
son and heir of the Duke of Clarence ; and it offered a reward 
of one thousand pounds, and a hundred marks yearly, to any 
one who would bring in the body of the said Henry Tudor, 
dead or alive. It promised, also, on the part of Richard Plan- 
tagenet, to the whole people of England, that if he succeeded 
in obtaining the throne of his ancestors, he would deal differ- 
ently with his subjects ; that he would administer equal jus- 
tice to all ; that he would maintain the good laws and customs 
of the kingdom ; that he would protect its commerce, diminish 
its burdens, and uphold the rights and privileges of all men. 

It was a powerful and a moving manifesto ; but it had no 
effect. Men hated the rule of Henry ; but they dreaded his 
unsparing vengeance. They knew him to be avaricious, cru- 



94 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

el, oppressive ; but they knew him to be crafty, vigorous, and 
fortunate. They feared as much as abhorred; and man 
whispered to man, 

" If he spared not Stanley, his best and noblest friend, how 
will he spare others ?" N ' t 

No one stirred. No nobleman or private gentleman of any 
note came forward to assert the rights of Richard of York ; 
and men made ancient enmity toward the Scottish people a 
motive or an excuse for yielding to their own apprehensions. 
A battle fought and won might soon have brought thousands 
to the standard of Richard Plantagenet ; but the officers of 
Henry were too wise to risk such a result. King James found 
no opposition in the field. The fortified cities shut their gates 
against him ; but no army appeared to oppose his progress ; 
and for some time he marched on, orderly and steadily, look- 
ing for some rising in favor of Plantagenet, but in vain. 

At length the King of Scotland became impatient, and his 
nobles more so. They had come to fight, and they had found 
no one to oppose them. They had come to establish a king 
in his rights, and they found no one to acknowledge him. 
The border chieftains, long inured to predatory warfare, had 
restrained their followers and themselves with difficulty ; and 
a few words of encouragement, from the lips of their king, 
were sufficient to plunge them at once into all their old hab- 
its. Moderation, order, discipline were all forgotten; and 
Northumberland was soon in a blaze from one side to the 
other. Hamlets and villages were sacked and destroyed, 
houses plundered, the peasantry slaughtered in the fields ; and 
Richard Plantagenet saw with grief his claims to the throne 
of his father made a pretense for destroying his fellow-coun- 
trymen and desolating his native land. His course was im- 
mediately taken; and it was well suited to his character. 
He sought the King of Scotland at once, and expostulated 
with him firmly on the barbarous proceedings of his troops. 

" If this is done in rny behalf, my noble lord, I beseech you 
to forbear," he said. " I would rather lose a crown than ob- 
tain one by the ruin of my subjects." 

James answered in a less kingly spirit. " Methinks your 
highness gives yourself too much concern," he said, " about 
subjects who do not acknowledge you as their king." 

He retreated, however, from England, taking with him the 
wealth of the whole land through which he passed ; and Scot- 
land was satisfied with plunder such as had seldom been 
brought home from the neighboring country. 






ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 95 

Ilichard Plantagenet took nothing with him ; but his heart 
was more joyful than any one in the camp, ibr he was going 
back to her he loved ; and he knew that the eyes of Catharine 
were looking for him. Short time was allowed him, how- 
ever, for the sweets of love. James regretted the rash words 
he had spoken to him ; and, as a proof of undiminished in- 
terest, he determined to lead another army into England, but 
to proceed on a different plan of operations. 

The moment he chose was favorable. We often do more 
against ourselves than any enemy can do against us. No one 
had risen in arms to favor Richard Plantagenet f but in the 
early part of 1497, many rose in arms against the oppression 
of Henry Tudor. The King of England had taken advantage 
of the invasion of his dominions by James and Richard, to 
exact large supplies from his Parliament. The Parliament 
granted his demands, but endeavored to guard against misap- 
plication of the sums to be levied, of which many an instance 
was on record. Henry strode over all restrictions, however. 
The taxes were raised with severity, cruelty, and partiality ; 
and the people of Cornwall rose to resist. It was then that 
James and Richard once more advanced into England, and 
laid siege to Norham Castle. No great force was now col- 
lected ; for it was expected that the fortress would soon fall. 
But the princes were deceived. News came that the gallant 
Earl of Surrey was advancing with rapid marches at the head 
of twenty thousand men ; and the Scottish army was forced 
to raise the siege, and retreat beyond the border. They were 
pursued even into Scotland ; and the flames of Ayton wit- 
nessed the success of Surrey and the discomfiture of James. 



CHAPTER X. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

" MY husband, my husband, there is danger abroad," said 
the White Rose of Scotland to the White Rose of England. 
" That subtle Spaniard, Pedro of Ayala, has been closeted 
with the king ; and I fear much for the result." 

" Fear not, dear Kate," replied Richard. " I am confi- 
dent of the good faith and honor of King James. He will 



6 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

neither betray nor abandon me. He knows the justice of my 
claims. He has had full proof of my birth and of my rights ; 
and he will not be led to tarnish his honor by the offers of 
Henry Tudor, or the blandishments of Pedro de Ayala." 

" Alas ! that I should say so to you, Richard," answered 
Catharine ; " but there are words in Scripture which should 
be a warning to aH : ' Put not your faith in princes.' My 
father tells me, that deputies are already appointed to hold 
conferences regarding peace with the English commissioners 
at Ayton. The king is tired of the war. He had hoped for 
success ; and he has met with reverse. He had fancied that, 
by a few light efforts, he could seat you on the throne of En- 
gland ; he has found the task too difficult for him ; he has seen 
his army obliged to flee from before Norham ; and our cause 
is lost, my dear husband." 

Richard mused sadly. Then, looking up in Catharine's 
face, he said, " If I lose not thee, my beloved, I can bear the 
frown of fortune undismayed. She may refuse me a crown. 
She may condemn me to poverty and to obscurity. She may 
give my name down to coming ages as that of an impostor. 
She may brand my truth as falsehood, and annul the rights 
of my birth ; but she has given me thy love, and in it a 
jewel which not fate itself can take from me." 

" I will go and see," he continued, starting up. " I will 
ride into the city and to the court, and soon know what my 
fate is to be." 

He called for his horse and for his train, presented himself 
at the palace, and desired an audience. It was granted in- 
stantly ; and James advanced to meet him, and embraced him 
kindly. The king's brow, however, was sorrowful ; and he 
said at once, " I am glad your highness has come ; for I pro- 
posed to visit you this very day. The time has arrived when 
it is needful for me and my council to determine whether we 
will remain for many years at war with England, or conclude 
an honorable peace. My subjects call for repose ; but still, 
it is with painful regret that I even think of sheathing the 
sword which I have drawn in your cause. However, I must 
show you the whole truth. Though a warlike nation, we are 
a very poor one, few in numbers compared with the English 
people, and not altogether so much united as we might be. 
Henry, your great enemy, has an overflowing treasury and 
vast resources of all kinds. He is at peace with every foreign 
country ; the revolt of the Cornishmen is suppressed ; and if 
his people do not love him well, still they obey him readily 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 97 

If I refuse his offers now, it will be no longer the question, 
whether I shall march an army into England, but rather, 
how shall I defend Scotland against an invading force." 

The king paused ; and Richard Plantagenet crossed his 
arms upon his chest, and gazed silently down upon the ground. 
James would fain have had him speak ; but he uttered not a 
word ; and the monarch proceeded. 

" I told you," he said, " when first you sought my court, 
that you should never repent having trusted in me ; nor shall 
you. 1 will never deny that you have proved to me, beyond 
all doubt, your birth and rights. I will not give you up to 
the power of an enemy ; but, for the sake of my people, and 
for the safety of my throne, I am compelled to tell you that 
while you remain in Scotland peace can not be concluded. 
Bitter is my task to say this ; but assuredly I do believe it 
were better for you, and me, and Scotland that you sought , 
some other land." 

With hardly a change of countenance, Richard of York 
raised his eyes to the king's face. His look was very grave 
and very sad ; but it showed neither anger nor apprehension. 
The color did not vary in his cheek. His lip dicl riot quiver. 
His voice faltered not. 

" I will not try, my lord the king," he said, " to change your 
determination. It is well considered, wise, I doubt not, in 
itself, and kindly and frankly told. A king's duty to his sub- 
jects is, or should be, a far higher consideration than the in- 
terests of one helpless stranger, whatever may be his claims 
upon generous pity. Even had I cause to think the motives 
on which you act insufficient, or to judge that you forego the 
assertion of my claims unnecessarily, which I have not, that 
could not cancel all the obligations under which you have laid 
me. I thank you deeply and sincerely for the protection and 
assistance you have been able to afford me, and for the many 
favors which you have conferred upon me. I will now take 
my leave, and prepare at once to depart ; but, believe me, 
whithersoever I go, I shall ever retain a sincere affection for 
your person, and a grateful remembrance of your kindness."* 

* These are very nearly Richard Plantagenet's own words, as re- 
corded by historians. In general, the conversations to be found in 
these scenes must be looked upon merely as the dialogues which the 
author thinks might probably take place between the principal persons 
mentioned. The exact words are rarely given by historians. Wher- 
ever the author has found them he has inserted them ; and where the 
substance merely is given, he has expressed it in the terms which he 
thought suitable to the characters. 

E 



.98 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

He did take his leave, and rode home to his dwelling be- 
yond the limits of the town. He was calm, firm, composed. 
None of his attendants beheld a trace of agitation in his face 
or manner ; but who shall tell the feelings of his heart during 
that short ride ? 

Oh, that barren record called history, that catalogue of facts 
and falsehoods so intimately mingled together as often to be 
inseparable, how poor and meager it is, even while represent- 
ing the great bubbles of the earth, how meager, I say, in all 
the mighty realities ! It tells of the rise and fall of kings, of 
peace or war between two countries, of a skirmish here, a 
battle there, a bright meeting, a great discovery ; but not one 
word does it say of the human feelings, and but few of the 
human thoughts does it record. Yet those two great streams 
of heart and mind are the rivers of life and light that flow 
through the mighty Garden of Time. What are laws, insti- 
tutions, acts, but means to make man happier ? What are 
study, exertion, discovery, but to make him wiser and better ? 
Each man's individual sorrows or joys are portions of the 
great stream of life ; each man's individual thoughts are parts 
of the River of Wisdom. These, however, we take no heed to 
reckon in history. We pass them over as if they had not 
been, as if they had no bearing upon the more apparent things 
of earth. 

How is it that the writers of the " Old Almanac" men- 
tion this epoch in the life of Richard Plantagenet. " His de- 
parture," they say, " smoothed the road to a peace between 
the two monarchs ; and a truce was signed in the Church of 
Ayton, September 29th, A.D. 1497." But they tell us not 
of the agony of that hour, when his last stay was taken from 
him, when once more he was sacrificed by those who had 
promised to protect him sacrificed, not because he was base, 
wicked, false not for any fault, failing, or crime, but simply 
because he was unfortunate not because his rights were 
doubtful, but because the interests of kings were against them. 
Of all the monarchs and princes who acknowledged, support- 
ed, and abandoned him, there was not one who ever pretend- 
ed to have been deceived. They were, at least, honest enough 
not to varnish their selfishness with a calumny. Charles, 
Philip, Margaret, Maximilian, James, boldly announced that 
they gave him up because it was for their interest to do so. 
They never pretended to discover a fraud or to expose and 
punish an impostor. 

But what were the feelings of Richard Plantagenet during 






E N G L A N D P E R K I N VV A R B E C K. 99 

that ride homeward ] Were they the less bitter because he 
knew his misfortunes undeserved 1 Each man will judge as 
he feels. Had he felt that they were merited, he must have 
been prepared to meet with them, he must have ever known 
that fate, station, happiness, hung upon a discovery to which 
a moment might give birth. But when a man knows and 
feels himself to be true and honest, oh, what a bitter crush- 
ing of the heart it is to find that truth arid honesty are as 
nothing in the sight of men, to be betrayed by those you trust- 
ed, to be cast off by those you loved, to be sacrificed for the 
tinsel prize of a momentary interest. But what were the 
feelings of Richard Plantagenet ? Vain to ask, men may re- 
ply ; can one see into his heart with the spectacles of history ] 
No, certainly not. We can not see all the anguish, we can 
not distinguish all the pangs ; but we may perceive a few of 
them. What had he to consider ? Ruin was before him, 
and all around. Whither could he turn for help I Where 
could be find refuge ? The spider policy of Henry had wound 
his threads round him in every direction. France, Burgundy, 
Germany, Scotland, were all closed against him. Support 
was taken away. Refuge was denied. A dark, ominous fu- 
ture, loomed awfully through the uncertain rnists of the pres- 
ent ; and now he was no longer alone to do battle against 
Fate with a stout heart, as he had previously done. The 
ties to life, the excitements to endeavor were both strengthen- 
ed ; but at the same time the gates were cast open to a thou- 
sand fears and apprehensions which could find no entrance, so 
long as all that he staked upon the struggle was his own life 
and fortunes. When he thought upon his beautiful and be- 
loved bride, well might his heart sink with feelings such as he 
had never known before, well might he ask himself, how should 
he act for and to her ? 

To take her from her happy home and her native land, to 
plunge her into scenes of danger, difficulty, and strife, to re- 
move her from affluence and ease to straitened poverty and 
toilsome wandering, would be, he thought, a cruelty and an 
injustice. But yet, how to part with her, how to resign that 
which was dearer to him than a crown, how to sacrifice the 
brightest and the purest light that had ever shone upon his 
stormy way ! Yet he resolved to do so. But though he had 
loved truly and well, he knew not all the strength of woman's 
affection. Catharine knew the dangers, the difficulties, the 
privations that lay before him ; she foresaw the anguish, and 
perhaps the degradation that was in store. But such was not 



100 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the moment that a true-hearted woman would choose to fly 
from her husband's side ; and when Richard Plantagenet 
sailed from the shores of Scotland with less than two hundred 
followers, Catharine Gordon his wife went with him. 



CHAPTER XI. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

THERE had been an insurrection in Cornwall. The grasp- 
ing spirit of the miserly king and the rapacity which he tol- 
erated, if he did not encourage, in his collectors, had roused 
the indignation of the lower classes of his subjects to a higher 
point than it had ever reached before. You may do much 
with an Englishman, ye men in power, but beware how you 
finger his purse too carelessly. The Cornishmen lost patience. 
They had seen many a subsidy exacted upon the plea of wars 
which never took place, and expeditions which never set sail. 
They believed not the king's pretenses ; they did not like the 
grant which Parliament had made ; they resisted the exac- 
tions of the collectors. They were a rude, ill-disciplined set ; 
but they found two or three of much courage and some ability 
to lead them, and an unprincipled all-hazard lord to put him- 
self at their head. They were misled into Kent, at a mo- 
ment when their efforts promised fair, and were defeated by 
regular forces with which they were not capable of contend- 
ing. Their three leaders were executed, and the rest pardon 
ed and dismissed. 

This lenity is not altogether unaccountable in a man who 
was not by nature lenient. There might be some truth in 
the view which the Cornishmen took thereof. Henry was in 
somewhat perilous circumstances. There was a Scottish 
army upon the English border ; there was great discontent 
among the nobility of the kingdom. Many were but kept 
down by terror. Others waited and watched for opportunity. 
The king's title to the throne was questioned. A rival for 
the crown was in the field ; and it was not safe to irritate the 
great mass of the people by severities, which may have great 
effect upon individuals, but lose their terrors when exercised 
upon the crowd. The Cornishmen, returning to their homes, 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 101 

declared that Henry had not dared to punish them ; but they 
should have added that they had not yet combined, with the 
offense of the revolt, the crime which the monarch never for- 
gave, an assertion of the rights of York. 

The taxes were still collected. The same odious officers 
were employed. The discontent spread far and wide ; and 
now, taking a wider view, the conspirators prepared to follow 
a still bolder and more decided course than before, and not 
only to resist the collection of the taxes, but to strike at the 
king who oppressed them. 

It was rumored, though not clearly ascertained, that Rich- 
ard Plantagenet, the son of Edward IV., after leaving the 
shores of Scotland, had once more landed in Ireland ; and 
deputies were sent from the men of Cornwall and Devonshire 
to find the prince, and ask him to put himself at their head. 
Many had fallen from him in despair of his fortunes, and 
those who were with him were neither the most wise nor the 
most experienced. His hopes in Ireland had been extin- 
guished more speedily than even his expectations of support 
from Scotland. His means of sustaining the small force 
which was with him were rapidly diminishing ; and pressed 
by his advisers, and led on by specious promises, he consented 
to lead the insurgent forces, and strike one more stroke for 
the crown. Still, his bright and beautiful Catharine accom- 
panied him ; and, with a hundred and forty fighting men, he 
set sail from Ireland, and landed on the Cornish coast on the 
7th of September, 1498. The castle on St. Micheal's Mount 
fell into his hands at once ; and on the shores of that beauti- 
ful bay he parted forever with her who had given happiness 
to some portion, at least, of his existence. Catharine re- 
mained in the castle, while he marched forward to Bodmin ; 
and the first news she heard was, that in a few hours three 
thousand men in arms had flocked to her husband's standard. 

His forces increased daily ; but their utter want of disci- 
pline, their ignorance of the use of the arms they possessed, 
and the impossibility of preserving any thing like order among 
them, filled him with alarm and doubt. He issued a new 
proclamation, however ; and, knowing that a first success is 
often but the herald of many more, he hastened on into Dev- 
onshire, and approaching the city of Exeter, demanded ad- 
mission within its gates. He promised the citizens protection 
and the confirmation of all their privileges, together with ad- 
vantages which they had not previously enjoyed. But the 
men of Exeter feared the Cornish rabble ; their walls were 



102 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

considered strong in those days ; the prince's army if it 
could be considered an army had no artillery ; and admis- 
sion into Exeter was refused. 

All who had any skill or experience in the camp of Rich- 
ard Plantagenet saw that it was needful to obtain some im- 
portant town, both for the collection of stores and as a place 
of retreat. He resolved, therefore, to storm the city ; and 
the attack was gallantly made and gallantly resisted. One 
of the gates was partly burned ; possession was well-nigh ob- 
tained of the walls ; but the attacking parties were at length 
repulsed, and the Cornishmen found that they had lost two 
hundred men. They looked gloomy and discontented ; and 
news reached the camp that immense forces were marching 
rapidly to attack them in the open field. 

Prosperity has always friends. The Earl of Devonshire, 
Sir Edmund Carew, Stafford, duke of Buckingham, Sir 
Thomas Fulford, Sir William Courtenay, Sir John Croker, 
Edgecombe, St. Maure, Trenchard, and a whole host of 
Courtenays, gathered troops together, and marched toward 
Exeter, while the Lord d'Aubeny, though he had seen a near 
relative sacrificed to the jealousy of the first Tudor, led a 
powerful army against the undisciplined forces of the prince. 
The news, too, ran that Henry himself, with a mighty host, 
was following quick, and it was necessary to prepare for re- 
sistance or to seek safety in flight. 

The position near Exeter could not be maintained, and 
Richard retreated, slowly and in tolerable order, to Taunton, 
in Somersetshire. There he prepared to resist to the last ; 
and some there were among his followers who came to him, 
and with the courage of despair swore to shed the last drop 
of their blood in the maintenance of his cause. But there 
were others who looked very doubtful ; and several, who pos- 
sessed the most power over the minds of the people, withdrew 
from the town, and were heard of no more. 

In the midst of busy preparations for resistance, the day 
passed with the eager activity of desperate courage, leaving 
little time for thought to wander. But night fell heavily, 
and with it came the darkness of dismay. Vague rumors 
spread. Men's hearts grew cold. Sadness fell upon the 
greater part of the small force, and though there was much 
silence, there was little sleep. In two quarters, however, 
there were persons who saw and talked. There was a group 
of men from Bodmin on the outskirts of the town, where the 
sight could stretch up that beautiful vale of Taunton, as it 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 103 

lay in the moonlight, along the road upon which the first par- 
ties of the enemy were expected to appear. They were lead- 
ing men of the insurrection, and they spoke in low but eager 
tones. What was it they discussed ? It was the force 
marching down upon them. Some said a hundred thousand 
men surrounded them on all sides. That was nonsense ; but 
we can hardly believe that a mite in a microscope is not a 
leviathan ; and they were much afraid. The Lord d'Aubeny 
had twenty thousand men. The Earl of Devon came on with 
ten thousand. Buckingham had as many. The king's force 
was unknown, and doubt magnified it. E#ch one asked the 
other what was their chance of victory, what was their chance 
of safety 1 One man said, in a low, dull tone, that the only 
chance was in delivering a great enemy into a tyrant's hand. 
Thereupon all mused ; but one of them rose and went away 
before any thing was decided. 

In another place, at a house near the church, sat Richard 
Plantagenet and a small group of friends, receiving the re- 
ports of scouts and messengers from a distance. Oh, what a 
sad detail was poured upon the ear of the hapless youth that 
night ! There was no rising in his favor. Those who had 
owned his right, acknowledged his birth, promised their aid, 
sat still and dull. There was an oppressive dread upon them. 

The old adherents of the house of York, the friends, the 
servants of his father, stirred not. Those who had most mur- 
mured at the cold oppression of Tudor, drew not a sword in 
support of a cause which they might easily have rendered suc- 
cessful. An apathy of terror benumbed all men. Then came 
the tale of the forces mustering against him. It reached him 
in a more definite but not less terrible form than the rumors 
which spread among his followers. Forty thousand men were 
round about him, and he had not six thousand. They were 
all trained arid disciplined ; his were ignorant and disorderly. 
The strife would be a massacre, and not a fight. He thought 
of Catharine, and his heart was very sad. His friends advised 
him to seek safety in flight. They represented that the Corn- 
ishmen must submit, and that mercy to them, at least, would 
follow submission ; but that with him destruction must follow/' 
defeat. 

One of the most zealous, or the most fearful, ordered horses 
to be saddled ; but the prince moved not. At length a man 
entered the room and whispered a few words in his ear. It 
was the same who had left the other group ; and as he spoke, 
Ilichard turned very pale. He had met with unkindness ; 



104 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

he had seen his hopes blasted ; he had found friends grow 
cold ; he had often had to repine at promises unfulfilled and 
aid withdrawn ; but he had only once before met with treach- 
ery, and then it had been fatal to his best friends. Richard 
hesitated no longer ; but the question was, whither should he 
fly ? All his hopes, all his affections, turned toward St. Mi- 
chael's Mount ; but the Earl of Devon was between him and 
Cornwall, and escape in that direction was cut off. 

Time pressed ; the largest body of the enemy was near at 
hand ; intelligence was received that even during the dark- 
ness Henry's officers were pushing forward their parties in all 
directions ; and, a little after midnight, Richard Plantagenet 
mounted his horse and rode away from Taunton. He had 
five or six friends with him, chance for his guide, and Provi- 
dence for his only protection. Thrice during that night was 
he turned from his course by meeting with bodies of the ene- 
my ; but at length he reached the monastery of Bewly, which 
had the privilege of sanctuary. With slow and trembling 
hands, an old monk brought forward the register ; and, while 
one of the prince's followers watched at the door, Richard of 
York inscribed his name, as a sanctuary man of Bewly. The 
pen was hardly out of his hand, when the watcher at the door 
exclaimed, 

" Make haste, my lord, make haste. There is a body of 
horse coming over the hill." 

All the others registered their name'fe without delay ; and, 
a few minutes after, D'Aubeny's cavalry surrounded the ab- 
bey, and set a guard at every gate, to prevent the escape of 
any one from within the walls. 

What were the feelings of Richard then ? They must 
have been sad indeed. Hope itself seemed at an end. For- 
tune had passed away forever. He was in the power of an 
enemy ; and nothing but the thin thread of superstition kept 
the sword from his neck. 

Henry did not venture to violate a sanctuary, however. 
For nine long days the cavalry of the king kept their watch 
round the abbey, and left no possibility of escape. The harsh- 
ness of their tone, the strictness of their examination, when 
any monk passed beyond the walls, made the good brethren 
dread that the poor fugitives would be dragged from their place 
of refuge ; but at length a royal officer presented himself, and 
was admitted to Richard Plantagenet. They conversed long ; 
but no one knows fully what were the offers Henry's envoy 
was authorized to make. Certain it is, that he held out the 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 105 

threat of violating the sanctuary, unless Richard surrendered 
himself. Certain it is, that he promised life, at least, if the 
prince, by yielding himself a prisoner, spared his enemy an act 
against which the interests and the pride of Rome were sternly 
armed. Some say that he promised more ; but, at all events, 
Richard of York knew not how the cunning and the bold can. 
render promises of no avail, and keep the letter of justice 
while they cast away the spirit. After much bitter thought, 
after calculating all the humiliation he might have to under- 
go, he yielded himself a prisoner, and in a few hours was on 
his way to London, guarded by a large party of horse. 



CHAPTER XII. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

" HURRA ! hurra !" the boys shouted in the street. " Hur- 
ra ! hurra ! Here he comes. Here he comes !" 

But when he did come, every tongue was silent ; for, as he 
rode on, with a sufficient space between those who guarded 
him and himself for all the crowd to see his person perfectly, 
there was an air of calm dignity in his carriage, an expression 
of patient firmness in his countenance, that, for a time, rebuked 
even the violence of a Lancastrian mob. There was no ap- 
pearance of terror or of shame. Sad he might be, indeed ; he 
might look melancholy and gloomy ; but there was nothing 
which could be rightly called dejection. He bore his head 
high and proudly ; he rode his horse with ease and grace ; he 
looked at the crowd which lined the streets on either side 
with a grave, firm gaze ; and not even the stare of many 
thousand eyes, nor the hootings and yellings which were soon 
recommenced perhaps by paid voices could make him bend 
his brow or cause his eyelids to wink. Twice they took him 
through the city. Twice they exposed him to the gaze of the 
rude multitude ; but they produced no alteration in his de- 
meanor. His firmness remained unshaken from first to last. 

The King of England was disappointed by the dignity of 
his captive ; and the composure with which Richard bore in- 
dignity taught many men to believe that he did not deserve 
it. Nor was Henry's next step more successful. He placed 

E2 



106 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

his captive in the hands of strict guardians, with orders to 
watch him narrowly, but to admit the nobility of England to 
his presence with some show of liberty. Many went to see 
an impostor, but found a prince a prince in every look, and 
word, and jesture. They went to see the son of a poor Flem- 
ish Jew counterfeiting Richard of York ; they found an En- 
glishman, noble in manners, highly educated, speaking the 
English tongue in the utmost purity, without the slightest 
foreign accent. They looked in his face for some trace of that 
remarkable race which God chose from out the nations of the 
earth, and on which he set a mark that has never been ef- 
faced ; and they found no Hebrew, but saw the living image 
of Edward Plantageriet. They could perceive no signs of im- 
posture there. 

Many went away convinced ; and it became necessary to 
find some excuse for hiding Richard of York from the eyes of 
the people. We know not how it was brought about whether 
new indignities were threatened or delusive hopes held out 
but Richard escaped from those who watched him and took 
his way toward the coast. He was hotly pursued, for his 
escape was instantly discovered, and he had only time to enter 
himself as a sanctuary man at Shene. This time, however, 
Henry respected no sanctuary. The fugitive was dragged 
iorth, notwithstanding the remonstrance of the prior, and car- 
ried straight to Westminster, whence he was removed to the 
Tower.* It was rumored through London that he had made 
a confession of imposture ; and, some time afterward, such a 
confession was published by the king, who alleged that it had 
been publicly pronounced. That confession, however, was 
never really made by him who called himself Richard, duke 
of York. It is mentioned by subsequent writers favorable to 
the house of Tudor ; but co temporaries are silent. t 

* At the Monastery of Bethlehem, founded at Shene, by Henry V. 
Some authors have it that the prior sought Henry, and exacted a prom- 
ise from him to spare Richard's life, before he would give him up. 

t Polydore Virgil, who visited this country during the following 
year, received his account of these transactions, I believe beyond afl 
doubt, from Henry himself. He wrote his history at that monarch's 
express desire, and with the events fresh in the minds of all men. He 
relates the indignities that were inflicted upon the prisoner, and gives 
an account of his death ; but he mentions not the confession, and blasts 
the tale by his silence. Fabian, too, the dull chronicler, who told with- 
out method or discrimination all he heard, who lived, and watched, 
and wrote at the very time, mentions not the confession either. Poly- 
dore Virgil might, perchance, in the spirit of criticism, know and reject 
a confession produced by the king, which he knew to be spurious ; but 



ENGLAND FKRKIN WARBECK 107 

And where was Catharine Gordon all this time, the beau- 
tiful wife of the unfortunate Richard ? She had been eager- 
it had evidently not been produced in the time of Fabian, or Fabian 
would have mentioned it. Grafton is, I believe, the first who ever 
ventured to publish this confession, which never could have been made 
by Richard of York or Perkin Warbeck, as it is full of absurdities which 
account in no degree for those circumstances that tended to prove the 
justice of his claim. He is said, in that confession, to have learned 
English in Flanders; he is said to have been persuaded by the Mayor 
of Cork to assume the character to which he pretended ; he is said to 
have completed his English education in Ireland, and to have been 
selected to perform the character of Edward's son because he had got 
on some silk clothes belonging to his master. But there is no explana- 
tion given of how a foreigner, by occasional conversation with English- 
men in Flanders, and a few weeks' tuition in Ireland, learned to speak 
English with the most perfect purity and without the slightest foreign 
accent. No explanation is given of his extraordinary resemblance lo 
Edward IV. No explanation is given of the intimate knowledge which 
he possessed of the court of that monarch, and of the minute transac- 
tions which occurred toward the termination of his rei^n; for, in the 
pretended confession, the story previously circulated of his having been 
tutored by the Duchess of Burgundy is altogether given up, and her 
name is not even mentioned. Neither is any explanation given of how 
he persuaded the King of France, the archduke, the Duchess of Bur- 
gundy, and the King of Scotland to acknowledge his claims in the full- 
est manner, and admit that he had proved his royal birth. It is clear 
that the confession is a fabrication, that it was never made by the un- 
happy young man himself, nor even published till long after his death. 
Bacon and Hall readily adopted any tale which was likely to please 
the monarch whom they served ; but Henry might have produced 
much more convincing testimony of the imposture, had there really 
been any. He asserted that his spies in Flanders had traced the whole 
of Warbeck's history from his infancy, and obtained positive proof of all 
the leading facts. Not one of these proofs was ever brought forward, 
although tndy might easily have been obtained after the youth's expul- 
sion from Flanders. Many persons were still living who had seen, 
known, and conversed with Richard, duke of York. They could have 
been confronted with the pretender, and could have been told to state 
if they believed him to be the son of Edward or not. The mother and 
several of the sisters of the prince were still in existence; but the 
mother was in close confinement, and was never asked if she could 
recognize her son. It might have been very dangerous to do so, so 
dangerous, indeed, that Henry VII. never ventured to bring Warbeck 
to trial for treason, or for any crime which would have compelled the 
production of evidence regarding his identity with Richard Plantage- 
iiet. This fact has not been sufficiently dwelt upon by historians. It 
may be said that Henry promised him life on his surrendering out of 
sanctuary. But that did not at all preclude his bringing him to trial 
for heading a rebellion in the kingdom. He promised him life, but not 
that he would abstain from proving him an impostor, and could he have 
done so, most assuredly he would have done it. He shrunk from the 
trial, however, got possession of the person of his rival, entangled him 
in schemes which created an offense not immediately connected with 
the question of his birth, and tried and executed him for that offense, 



108 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

ly sought by her husband's enemy as soon as he had crushed 
the Cornish rebellion, and perhaps, happily for her, his move- 
ments were so quick that she had not the protracted agony 
of hearing of her husband's repulse from Exeter, his retreat 
upon Taunton, his flight and captivity by slow degrees. 
Anxiety she must have felt, but it was not long protracted. 
Ere she knew of a difficulty or reverse, St. Michael's Mount 
was summoned to surrender, and yielded to the king ; and 
she learned at once that Richard was a prisoner, and all 
bright hopes at an end. She was brought into the presence 
of the successful usurper at Exeter, with the tears of bitter 
anguish flowing down her cheeks ; but her grace, her beauty, 
her distress, touched even the hard, cold heart of Henry. He 
treated her with tenderness, with gentleness, at least, and 
commended her to the care of his fair queen, where womanly 
sympathy might soothe, if it could not console. It did soothe ; 
and Elizabeth and Catharine wept together ; the one for the 
harshness, the other for the misfortunes of her husband. 

Doubtless, Catharine, whose love had stood every test, be- 
sought permission to share the lot of Richard, to fulfill the 
duties to which she had pledged herself, to comfort and sup- 
port him in adversity. But such was not the policy of Hen- 
ry. He suffered his queen and his courtiers to call her the 
White Rose, and thus indirectly to acknowledge the title of his 
rival. He treated her with decency and respect himself, not 
alone on account of her sorrows and her virtues, but on ac- 
count of her relationship to the King of Scotland ; but he 
never suffered her to see her husband more. No, no ; he 
would have no more heirs to the house of York. There 
were too many already. Warwick was alive ; the persecu- 
ted, unhappy Warwick ; he who from early youth had known 
no home but a prison; he who, without a fault, had been 
subjected to the doom of a malefactor, deprived of all the 
friendships and sympathies of life, and shut out from the fair 
face of nature, till the common objects of the external world, 
the beasts, the birds of the skies, the fields, the woods were as 
much unknown to him as if he had been born blind. War- 
wick and Richard, they were two stumbling-blocks in the 
way of ambition. The throne was not secure ; the crown 
seemed to tremble on Henry's head. He hesitated : perhaps 

without his claims being brought into discussion. Artfully and perse- 
veringly was the whole transaction managed, so as to destroy the young 
claimant to the English throne, without ever forcing his enemy to bring 
forwapd proofs that his claim was false. 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 109 

he had some remorse. But Ferdinand of Aragon gave the 
impulse. That king refused to bestow his daughter Catha- 
rine upon Arthur, prince of Wales, so long as a male heir of 
the house of York still lived. From that moment it was de- 
cided they must die. But murder startled the tender-con- 
scienced king. No ; he resolved he would not murder, ex- 
cept under form of law. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

DRAGGED from his place of refuge at Shene, exposed to ev- 
ery sort of indignity for two whole days, Richard Plantagenet 
knew that his treatment in the Tower would be rigorous. 
He gazed up at the gloomy walls, which he well remembered ; 
and it seemed as if it were but yesterday that he fled from 
them. All the busy events of the last few years were but as 
an idle dream. His heart was very sad. He looked along 
the path of memory, and saw it strewed with withered flowers. 

Then he asked himself to what dungeon he was to be 
conveyed ; whether he should ever again see the light of the 
sun, or hear the cheerful tongues of fellow-men, or behold the 
bright face of nature, or exercise his limbs with freedom. 

He was surprised to find that no such severity as he had ex- 
pected was exercised toward him. A light and cheerful cham- 
ber, attendants not irreverent, an ample preparation for his 
bodily comfort, tended to relieve his mind. But yet, at first, 
he was closely imprisoned, and the days were rendered weary 
by vacant solitude. He was left to think over his fate, to give 
his heart up to bitter regrets, to recall the image of her whom 
he loved but saw no more, to dream of what might have been, 
and to long for the power of striking one more blow at him 
who wronged and oppressed him. 

His heart burned within him to think how fortune favored 
the cold-hearted Tudor, and how calumny and falsehood had 
full room to deal with the name of one who had found no sup- 
port in truth, in honesty no defense. 

" He has already published far and wide," thought the un- 
happy youth, " that I am a low and infamous impostor, and no 



110 . DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

one has come forward to refute it. The magic of this man's 
fortune seems to overawe the princes of the earth, so that they 
dare not raise the voice in behalf of truth and justice. Why 
is my aunt of Burgundy silent ? Why does the King of 
France not publish in the face of the world the proofs of my 
birth which I gave him ? Why does the King of Scotland 
not declare the evidence which led him gladly to ally his own 
blood with that of Plantagenet ? WTiere is my poor mother, 
that she speaks not one word in my behalf? Where is my 
sister Elizabeth, that she does not tell the tale of my escape ? 
All, all bowed beneath the influence of this fortunate usurper ! 
All without power or without courage !" 

Wearily, wearily passed those days, till life became a bur- 
den and time a heavy load. At length, nearly at the end of 
a month, some slight change was made. There was a man, 
a heavy, dull-browed man, who used to serve the prince in 
prison with much civility and care; and now he often looked 
at him earnestly and thoughtfully, and sometimes stayed to 
speak a few words. He gave him some little piece of news 
from without : tidings from France or Italy, where great 
things were taking place ; some idle courtly scandal, or the 
history of pageant or procession that was the wonder of the 
day. 

Richard Plantagenet listened eagerly, for any thing that 
broke the dullness of the day was a comfort. It was like the 
singing of a small bird in a desert. He pondered over the in- 
terest which petty things had acquired in his mind ; and look- 
ing up in the man's face, with a sad smile, he said, 

" The time was, my friend, when I should have little heeded 
such matters; but now your tales are my only relief. Per- 
haps you know not, or disbelieve, that I once mingled in all 
the splendor of a court, enjoyed such scenes as you describe, 
took part in such events as you recount, till habit made them 
pall upon the mind, and I knew not that I was sharing in 
things which were the ambition of men who saw not their 
emptiness as I did. So it was, however. Here, in this Tower 
of London, was I received as a prince long ago, and then 
treated as a captive, but still as a sovereign's son and brother. 
Many courts, too, have I seen : England, and France, and Bur- 
gundy, and Scotland ; and in all have I lived as a prince. 
You know not these things, but still so it is." 

" I know them right well, my lord," replied the man ; " and 
I know, too, that if you had your rights you would still be a 
prince. I have seen your royal iather many a time ; and it 



E N G L A N D P ERKIN WARBECK. Ill 

needs but to look in your face to see who you are. But what 
skills it a man like me to speak of such things ? I am but a 
poor servant of Sir John Digby, a hard master. However, 
you look ill as well as sad ; and well you may, shut up here 
without air or exercise. Might I advise, you would write a 
few words to Sir John, requesting greater liberty. He would 
surely give it, I think." 

" But how shall I write ?" asked the prince. "What can 
I call myself ? I will never take the name they would force 
upon me ; and if I use my own, it will be a matter of offense." 

" Call yourself the prisoner of the Cold Harbor Tower," re- 
plied the man, readily. " There can be no harm in that, when 
you seek to write to the lieutenant." 

The paper was brought, the letter written ; and the man 
carried it away, and laid it before Sir John Digby, who occu- 
pied some apartments in the royal palace. The knight smiled 
when he took it, and the man smiled too. 

" Go tell him I must ask permission of the king," said Dig- 
by. " Then return, and I will send you to his majesty." 

On the following morning the doors of Richard Plantagenet's 
prison were thrown open to him, and he was told that he might 
roam at liberty within the inner walls, provided he presented 
himself each night half an hour before sunset. Oh ! how 
grateful did he feel to the man who bore him the message : 
and yet that man was betraying him. He thanked him eager- 
ly. He went out with him down the stair. He walked with 
him through the courts, and round the buildings, and told him 
how he had played there in boyhood, pointing out to him the 
different towers in which he had lodged, and giving him many 
an anecdote of former times. 

" Who dwells there now ?" he asked, pointing with his 
hand to one of the towers, where, at a grated window, he had 
seen a face. 

" 'Tis the poor Earl of Warwick," answered the man. " He 
has been there many a year." 

"What, my cousin?" asked the prince. "Would that I 
could speak with him, and cheer him. We are both in the 
Isame unhappy case." 

" It were very easy," answered the man. " I can give you 
admission to him when I will." 

Richard mused. 

" It were better," he said, " to let him know that I am com- 
ing. Tell him that I will be with him at this time to-mor- 
row . Say who I am. He may, perchance, remember me, 

4v 



112 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

for we were nearly of an age ; and though I saw him but lit- 
tle, for his father was my father's enemy, yet I recollect him 
well." 

" I will, I will," replied the man ; " and I will come and 
fetch you, or send one of my comrades." 

At the same hour the next day the man came himself, and 
Richard followed him gladly to the prison of the Earl of War- 
wick. The door was opened by his guide, who withdrew as 
soon as the prince had entered. Before him sat a young man, 
of some four-and-twenty years of age, somewhat shorter than 
himself, and with his mustache and beard grown long. His 
face was pale, and there was a dull, despairing look in his eyes 
which was painful to behold. He gazed earnestly on Richard 
as he entered, and an expression of doubt almost of fear 
came upon his face. He tried to cover it with a faint, sneer- 
ing smile, and asked at once, 

" Who are you, young man ? What brings you here ?" 

" Edward Plantagenet," said Richard, holding out his hand 
to him, " I am your cousin Richard, your brother in misfor- 
tune, your fellow-prisoner. You are much changed. Good 
Heaven ! can I be so altered also ?" 

" I do not know you, sir," said Warwick, coldly. " My 
cousin Richard died long ago at least, so men say." 

" Men say many a falsehood," replied Richard, seating him- 
self. " I feel so little difference in myself that I had fancied 
you would know me at once ; and although you are much 
changed, yet I can trace in your face many a well-remembered 
line. Do you not remember your cousin Richard at all?" 

" Ay, do I, right well," replied the earl ; " a curly-headed 
boy, somewhat shorter than myself: and you are somewhat 
like him ; but how can I know that you are he, indeed ?" 

Richard smiled. 

" Do you remember," he said, "when two boys played in 
the gardens at Eltham, and tried to shoot their arrows over 
the roof of the great hall ? how one sent his shaft through 
the window, and was frightened at what he had done ; but 
the other gave him his own arrow instead, and took the blame 
upon himself?" 

" My cousin ! my cousin !" cried Warwick, throwing his arms 
round him. " You are Richard indeed. Methinks, if you 
were King of England, you would not keep me a prisoner here." 

" I should have no need," replied Richard. " 'Tis only 
usurpers who have cause to fear. You have been hardly dealt 
with ; and. Heaven help me, Edward ! I can not do you right. 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 113 

But we may comfort one another. Nay, perhaps the time 
may come when we may help each other likewise." 

" Such hopes are vain," said Warwick, in a melancholy 
tone. " For fifteen years, hope in my heart has been wither- 
ing away. Even were I free, what should I be fit for, as ig- 
norant of the wide world around me as a child nay, God 
help me ! more ignorant far ;" and he hid his face in his hands, 
as they rested on the table. 

" Cheer up, cheer up," said Richard, after gifeing at him 
for a moment, with many an indignant thought crossing his 
mind at the sight of what tyranny can dare to do against pow- 
erless innocence. " All the knowledge which is needful of 
this world is soon acquired ; and-, I fear me much, the school 
of experience is as dangerous a one to the heart as it is in- 
structive to the wit. It teaches man to be hard, suspicious, 
selfish ; to have no trust in man's professions, no confidence in 
his constancy, no expectation of honor, truth, or virtue, where 
it has not been tried seven times in the fire. It teaches man 
to strive for himself alone, knowing that every man will strive 
against him. It teaches every man to yield nothing to the 
claims, the rights, the needs of others, knowing that they will 
yield naught to him. Thank God ! I have not lived long 
enough in that world to learn all this, but only to learn that 
it is so. Come, Edward, I will be your teacher, if I am per- 
mitted, as I trust, to see you ; and you shall hear from me 
what the world is, such as my experience shows it." 

" You must begin at the first rudiments, Richard," replied x 
his cousin, looking up with a rueful smile. " I know not yet 
my very letters. Show me a tree or flower, I can not tell 
you what it is, unless it be one of the weeds that grow out of 
these old walls. I know not a bird that flies through the air, 
except the robin that perches on the window-sill, and sings 
till I think it the happiest of created beings, or the pigeon 
that whirls before the window, and makes me envy it its glo- 
rious liberty." 

" Alas ! alas ! this is very sad," said Richard Plantagenet. 
" Oh, what a curse must that man draw upon his head, my 
poor cousin, who dares to deny, to an unoffending being like 
yourself, the blessings which a God of Mercy poured forth for 
the benefit of all. There must be a future state," he added, 
musing. " This man is prosperous, successful in all he does, 
pampered by fortune to the sating of all desires. There must 
be a future state, where there is retribution. Still, we may 
be a comfort to each other ; and all that I can teach, I will. 



114 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Who can say what may be the purposes of fate ? Prisoner 
as I am here, I may still some day sit upon the throne of En- 
gland, and, if so, I will redress these things. Or it may please 
JHeaven that I shall be taken hence, and you may hold the 
scepter. If so, remember these hours. It were better, I do 
believe, for all mankind, if kings, ere they received power, 
were chastised by adversity." 

" Not too severely," answered Warwick ; " for I have felt, 
and still feel, that misfortune may be carried to a pitch which 
renders the heart callous instead of sensible where man be- 
comes so hardened by the repeated blows of Fate, that he 
learns to estimate suffering too lightly. I know not whether 
I should make a good king ; I do not think I should ; but 
neither kingdom nor liberty will ever be mine." 

" We can not tell," answered Richard Plantagenet. " This 
man, who let me in to see you just now, seems well disposed 
toward us both. Perhaps by his means, some time or anoth- 
er, we may obtain our freedom. At all events, there are so 
many sudden turns in human fate, changes of such import- 
ance, brought about by the most remote and trifling accidents, 
that we should never despair while there is life. When first 
I was brought hither, I too gave way to deep despondency ; 
but now this good man's conversation, and the greater degree 
of liberty he has procured me, have revived my expectations, 
and made me think that all is not yet lost." 

" My father died in the Bowyer tower out yonder," an- 
swered Warwick. " I have withered here for more than 
thirteen years ; and I may well have learned that, for me at 
least, there is no hope. But, even if there were, that man 
could not raise it up. He is a dull and sullen being, who 
never gave me a kind word or pitiful look. Trust him not 
too far, Richard, for I doubt his honesty." 

"I will have good proof before I trust," answered Richard 
Plantagenet, " though what he could gain by injuring me, I 
know not. By serving me, it is true, he would risk much 
and gain little. However, whatever we do, it must be done 
slowly and deliberately ; but the very hope of deliverance is 
something which I would cherish, even if I knew it to be 
false ; for it will give life to existence within these cold walls, 
where iDtherwise life were lifeless ' ' 

" Lifeless, indeed," answered Warwick. " Heavens, what 

a life mine has been, without one act for fifteen long years ; 

'without a remembrance. I look back, and it is all a blank. 

One day after another, the same, ever, ever the same. The 



ENGLAND PERtflN WARBECK. 115 

sun rises, the sun sets. The day is fine, or it is foul. There 
is sunshine, or there is rain ; the mid-day meal, the supper at 
eventide ; these are all all upon which memory has to rest 
all to which hope can look forward. Now, perhaps, there 
may be a little change, there may be something more for me 
in existence. I shall think each afternoon that you are com- 
ing the following day, and in the morning wait watching the 
hours. See you my clock there," and he pointed with his 
hand to some lines traced with chalk upon the floor. " As 
the light travels round," he said, " from one of those marks to 
another, I know that a quarter of an hour has gone by ; and 
then the chimes of the castle clock give me the regular hours ; 
so I know, at least, how time flies, if I know nothing else." 

" How long have I been here ?" asked Richard Plantagenet. 

" Well-nigh three quarters of an hour," replied Warwick ; 
" and they will not let you stay much longer, I am sure. 
Your being here at all is a miracle to me, for I have seen no 
human face but that of Digby, or his servants, for the last 
three years. Now, however, there is a relief ; for, were there 
no other tie between us, it would still be a blessing indeed to 
hold even a short commune with a fellow-creature." 

Barely had he finished when the lieutenant's servant again 
opened the door, and put in his head, saying, 

" I must not let you stay longer, my lord ; but I doubt not, 
some day soon, if you will be very quiet arid submissive, to 
gain leave for both of you to walk in the private garden for 
a short time each day." 

Warwick started, and looked at him hard, and the man 
turned away his face ; but Richard Plantagenet seemed to 
perceive nothing, and, taking leave of his cousin, followed the 
lieutenant's servant from the room. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 



THERE were busy consultations, from time to time, in the 
dark hours of night. The servants of the lieutenant seemed 
to have much business in the chamber of Richard Plantag- 
enet. First one came, then another, then another ; and 



116 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

each stayed with him long ; but there were those in the 
prison who knew what he knew not, that ever, when they 
left him, they bent their steps toward the lieutenant's lodg- 
ing, and remained closeted with him in secret. Sir John 
Digby laughed often, and talked gayly. He seemed to have 
become a marvelous good-humored man. Under his orders, 
the prison of the Tower had apparently changed its character. 
It was no longer a gloomy place of severity and restraint. 
. Prisoners were allowed to mingle with each other, with all 
decent freedom. They had leave to walk in the gardens, with 
no other security than a warder at the gate.. Even the Earl 
of Warwick, the poor captive of so many years, was allowed 
to enjoy something which seemed to him like liberty ; and 
long and earnestly would he talk with his cousin Richard, as 
they walked to and fro, along the smooth, hard, dry pathway 
of the garden, at a distance from the rest of the prisoners. 

An air of light and hope had come upon Richard Plantag- 
enet. A new spirit seemed to have entered into his bosom, 
and to have dispersed the dark cloud which hung upon him 
when he first entered the gates of the Tower. Activity, en- 
ergy, endeavor, they give life to hope ; and Richard was full 
of them. 

Warwick himself, too, seemed roused. The dull, heavy 
gloom which had so long possessed him, was in part removed. 
He began to fancy there was such a thing as hope. Hope 
be^at confidence ; and, though he thought it strange- that 
men who had so long dealt harshly with him should sudden- 
ly unbend altogether toward his cousin Richard, yet he could 
not but own there was a grace and charm about his com- 
panion's manner, which might well move and win hearts, 
that otherwise were hard. 

From time to time, some of the other prisoners would come 
and speak for a few moments with the two princes, with a 
reverent manner and in a low tone. Now those prisoners were 
more in number than they had been when Richard first en- 
tered the Tower ; for several of those who had been his com- 
panions in the field and in the sanctuary had been lately 
sent in to the same prison with himself. Though now in ad- 
versity, though nothing but difficulty and danger surrounded 
him, no portion of their respect was withdrawn. He was to 
them, as he had ever been, the son of Edward Plantagenet ; 
and fortune made no difference in their eyes. 

There was an old man, however, a dull, stern old man, 
who had been for many years a captive in the Tower. He 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 117 

seldom spoke with any one. He never spoke with either of 
the princes ; but, from time to time, as they walked in the 
gardens for he too enjoyed the unusual privileges granted 
he turned a cold, sarcastic look upon them, and then, averting 
his eyes again, resumed his meditations. One day, however, 
when Richard and Warwick were going forth together, he 
carne near, and said, in a low, gloomy tone, 

" Young men, they are befooling you. When a cat plays 
with a mouse, it is but to devour it. When tyrants become 
gentle, they have some dark end in view." 

He said no more, but walked on, and never more approach- 
ed them. 

" There is some truth in what that man says," remarked 
Warwick, as they proceeded toward their several rooms ; for 
Warwick was easily depressed. " I can not fancy that these 
servants of Sir John Digby should really change so rapidly 
from the stern, harsh men they were before you came, to kind 
and zealous friends." 

" It were well, indeed, to try them further ere we trust 
them," answered Richard. " They have named Thursday 
night for our enterprise. I will put it off for a week, which 
will give us more opportunity to observe." 

He did so ; but nothing appeared to shake his confidence. 
The men whom he had gained to favor his escape, with War- 
wick and four of the other prisoners, seemed no way surprised 
or disappointed at his change of purpose. 

" Perhaps it were better," said the man to whom he spoke. 
"The nights will be longer and darker a week hence ; and 
there will be more time for preparation." 

Richard of York told Warwick the result ; and they eat 
long together the next day, pondering and considering their 
scheme in all its aspects. 

" Would to Heaven," said Richard, " that in this week of 
delay I could find means to give notice to my dear Lady 
Catharine, and beseech her to join rne on the road." 

" Why can you not ?" asked Warwick. " Methinks, if 
these men are faithful, they could easily be brought to convey 
to her a letter or message. Oh Heaven, what a blessing it 
must be to have some one whose fate is linked to yours by 
the sweet bonds of affection. You think yourself unfortunate, 
Richard, in having been deprived of a throne, denied your 
birth-right and your state ; but, had God given to me suoh a 
companion as you describe your wife, I should have thought 
I possessed a treasure in her heart, to which the throne of the 



118 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

world could add nothing. Were I you, I could not go with- 
out trying, at least, to take her with me." 

" Yes, you would," replied Richard ; " for if you loved as I 
love, you would not risk her safety. Should these men prove 
unfaithful, while I refrain from telling her of my plans, I 
hazard naught but my own life ; but if I make her a sharer 
of the secret, I may put it in the tyrant's power to strike at 
her as well as me ; and that I will never do. If I escape, 
she will find means to join me, of that I am right sure ; but 
so long as danger surrounds me on every side, I will take my 
course alone." 

The day came at length ; and all preparations were made. 
Four servants of Sir John Digby had been gained ; and every 
thing was ready by the hour of midnight. The prisoners who 
were in the secret were collected in the chamber of Richard 
Plantagenet ; and they only waited for the arrival of him 
who was to be their guide, to proceed to the lieutenant's 
lodging, in order to secure his person and obtain the keys. It 
was calculated that the number engaged would be quite suf- 
ficient to overpower the small guard on night duty, and so to 
secure the soldiers, that no alarm would be given. At length 
the man appeared, bearing a common warder's lantern in his 
hand ; the lights in the chamber were extinguished ; and in 
darkness and silence the party descended the stairs. 
. All was quiet in the courts and buildings around ; and 
they traversed the open space before the lieutenant's lodging 
without impediment, guided by the lantern through the deep 
obscurity of a November night. Richard Plantagenet follow- 
ed close after the guide, with Warwick a little behind him, 
and the rost following ; and thus they reached the door of the 
building to which they went. It was quietly opened by the 
man who preceded them ; and he went in. Richard was 
about to follow ; but the moment he put his foot upon the 
threshold he found a partisan at his breast. He now knew 
that he was betrayed, and was turning to his followers to 
bid them escape quickly, when, by the faint light, he saw the 
gleam of weapons all around them. Resistance would have 
been in vain ; and the whole party were easily made prison- 
ers, and conveyed to separate chambers. 

Whrfn day broke, it found Richard Plantagenet with his 
head still leaning on his hand, in the position which he had 
first assumed when brought back from his unfortunate at- 
tempt. 

" The cup is full, and I must drink it to the dregs." 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 119 

That was the sum of all his thoughts ; and those words he 
had repeated to himself frequently throughout the night. 
But, though all hope was gone, dignity and courage did not 
forsake him in the last, most trying hours. It was announced 
to him, not long after, that he was to be tried on the 16th of 
November by a commission of oyer and terminer. 

" For what crime ?" he asked. 

" For an attempt to break prison, in order to excite insur- 
rection in the country," was'the reply. 

Richard mused gloomily for a few moments, and then said, 

" He has been successful !" 

Those words were the only comment he uttered ; but they 
showed that he now understood the whole ; that he saw the 
scheme by which he had been betrayed, and the object of 
that scheme. He saw that it had been needful to his enemy 
to fix upon him some offense which brought not into question 
his birth and claims, and that Henry had indeed been suc- 
cessful. He knew that it was all over, that his last stake 
was played, that the game was lost ; and he nerved his mind 
for the final endurance. 

The court was held at the time appointed. The prisoner 
was brought before it. He protested against its competency, 
but he made no defense. He knew that defense was useless. 
The judgment went against him ; but he was not aware till 
the judge spoke that there was a degradation to undergo. 
He had fancied that the block and the ax were to be his 
doom, not that he was to die like a common felon ; and, when 
the terrible words were pronounced, he stood stupefied and 
speechless. That was the bitterest blow of all. It seemed 
to crush his heart, to beat down the energies which had so 
well sustained him ; and he was removed from the court like 
one in a dream. At that moment he thought less of himself 
than of another. 

" Catharine, Catharine," he murmured ; and, burying his 
face in his hands, he gave way for a short time to the weight 
of the infliction. His spirit soon rose again, and when the 
hour came it found him prepared. 



120 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER XV. 

PERKIN WARBECK. 

were thick and gloomy clouds over head. There 
was an obscure and foggy atmosphere below. Not a breath 
of air stirred in the sky. The sun had not shone upon the 
world all day. Cold, cold and chilling was the damp vapor 
that hung over the scene, and every object, to every sense, 
was sad and gloomy. 

But under a group of large old elms, nearly at the summit 
of a little rise some two miles from London, as London exist- 
ed in that day, was gathered together an immense crowd of 
people. These elms were, as I have said, upon the side of 
the rise, not at the top, for the top was occupied as a gallows. 
They were not far distant, however ; for they stretched out 
their long, naked, brown branches to within twenty or thirty 
feet of the instrument of death. 

Tyburn elms had seldom seen a greater multitude collected 
than on that 23d of November ; and there were many difier- 
ent sensations among the people. Some came from mere cu- 
riosity, or the barbarous taste for death scenes so strong in the 
English people. Some came, anxious to hear what the pris- 
oner would say before his death ; whether he would give the 
lie to his whole life, or maintain his truth and innocence to 
the last. Some came, with feelings of commiseration and 
burning indignation, to see the consummation of a base act 
they could not prevent. Some came to triumph, and some 
to weep. 

The spectacle was long delayed ; and they looked anxiously 
toward the city, while a few thin drops of rain began to fall 
through the mist ; and they hoped the fog would clear away, 
that they might have a better view. The fog persisted, how- 
ever, and even grew more thick ; but at length the creaking 
sound of a cart's wheel was heard, and those who were near- 
est to the road perceived the head of the procession approach- 
ing, the sherifT riding on horseback, and the soldiers, with 
their steel caps, surrounding the vehicle. 

There were three figures in the cart : a man in the robes 
of a priest on the right hand ; a stout, heavy-looking man 



ENGLAND PERKIN WARBECK. 121 

seated on the edge to the left ; and another tall, graceful fig- 
ure between the two. Through the dim and hazy air, the 
eyes of the multitude could see him stand, firm, calm, and 
erect, with his unpinioned arms crossed upon his chest. The 
features of his face they could hardly discern ; but there was 
something in the air and the attitude not to be mistaken. 
There was no fear or trepidation there. Y.; . 

The cart moved on till it reached the foot of the gallows ; 
and the soldiers formed a ring around, keeping back the ^o- 
ple, who pressed eagerly forward. By that time there was 
hardly a heart among them that was not moved with com- 
passion. There was some little tumult occasioned by the ef- 
forts of several. persons to get near ; and those who were on 
the outside of the crowd* saw the scene that was passing but 
faintly through the rnist, the figures looking like gray shad- 
ows rather than living things. But still that princely form 
towered above the rest. The priest pressed close to him with 
eager words, holding up the crucifix ; the hangman busied 
himself with the cord ; another man came a little forward on 
the platform at the foot of the ladder, and began to read 
something from a paper in his hand. No one heard what it 
was ; but they all saw the sufferer make an impatient and 
an indignant gesture, and some exclamation burst from the 
people near. Then was a good deal of hurry and confusion ; 
and, the next instant, Richard Plantagenet ceased to be. 

Who shall attempt to tell the feelings of his heart during 
that dreadful morning 1 who depict the burning, bitter, pow- 
erless indignation with which he, .the son of a king, who had 
come but to claim his own, was led forth, with shame and 
contumely undeserved, to die the death of a dog ? Who 
shall say whether his faith did not waver, whether his trust 
in God did not fail, when he found that cunning, and artifice, 
and injustice prevailed against honor, and integrity, and 
right ] 

Let us trust that it did not, and that the conviction 
wrought upon his mind by his own sad fate was the same 
which he had expressed to Warwick : " There must be a fu- 
ture state, where there is retribution." 

The result was not what Henry the king had expected. 
He had put an enemy to death. He had loaded him with 
every sort of degradation ; but he failed to make the great 
mass of the people believe that Richard Plantagenet was an 
iritpostor. Courtly historians, under the Tudors and those 
who derived from them, corrupted the truths of history, and 

F * 



122 DARK SC EN 7 ES OF HISTORY. 

grafted upon the bare facts transmitted to them by co tempo- 
raries, interested fabrications of their own. 

But another act was still to be performed, and some words 
to be spoken, which completed the tragedy and explained its 
cause. The helpless, hapless Earl of Warwick was brought 
to his trial before his peers. He was tried for a treasonable 
conspiracy against the person and government of the king. 
There was no danger, in his case, of any claims being assert- 
ed which Henry would have found it difficult to disprove. 
The Earl of Oxford presided at the trial. The peers went 
prepared for their task. Warwick pleaded guilty to having 
consented to his cousin's attempt to escape. He was con- 
demned for high treason, and closed a life of misery under 
the ax upon Tower Hill. There was a roar of indignation 
throughout the land, for his birth and his innocence were un- 
doubted. Henry strove to quiet the murmurs of his people, 
by boldly proclaiming the reasons of state policy which in- 
duced him to commit a deliberate, cold-blooded public mur- 
der. The King of Aragon had refused to give his daughter 
to the heir apparent, so long as there was any male heir liv- 
ing of the house of Plantagenet ; and it was necessary, " va- 
cuam domum scelestis nuptiis facere." 

Thus died, within five days of each other, Richard and 
Edward Plantagenet. The heir of Tudor obtained the daugh- 
ter of Ferdinand the Catholic. The death of Arthur con- 
signed her to the arms of his brother ; and the marriage of 
Catharine with Henry severed England from the domination 
of Rome. The male line of Tudor became extinct in one 
more generation ; and policy and crime effected nothing to 
perpetuate the dynasty. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 123 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 



CHAPTER I. 

THE fatal battle of Tiberiad/and the fall of Jerusalem be- 
fore the victorious arms of Saladin, terminated the Christian 
kingdom of Jerusalem, founded by Godfrey of Bouillon. True, 
the Franks continued to hold for some years various strong 
places in the Holy Land. True, the mighty arm of Richard 
Cceur de Lion brought temporary hope, and a brief prospect 
of success to the defeated and disheartened Christians of 
Syria. True, Henry of Champagne, Almeric, and Isabella, 
and others after their death, called themselves sovereigns of 
Jerusalem ; but they never possessed one stone of the Holy 
City ; nor were they or their followers permitted to set a foot 
within its walls, except by permission of the victorious Moslem. 

Vice, luxury, and idleness had taken possession of the de- 
scendants of the early crusaders ; and the sole bulwarks of the 
Christian power were the two great orders of the Temple and 
Hospital. Often rivals, often enemies, these bodies of milita- 
ry monks were rarely found wanting in harmony and zeal at 
the moment of danger and distress ; and the misfortunes which 
fell upon the Christian kingdom after the return of Richard 
I. to England united them in defense of the little which re- 
mained of all the fair possessions which had been won from 
the infidels. 

The greatest, the most valiant, and the most powerful of 
the monarchs who arose after the death of Saladin and his 
immediate successors, to oppress the remnant of the Christians 
in the East, was the Sultan of Egypt, named Bibars Bondoc- 
dar ; and step by step, his course, which was as often marked 
by private assassination as by valiant deeds of war, brought 
under the rule of the cimeter Cesarea and Arsouf, Sifed and 
Kora, Schakif and Antioch. The second crusade of St. Louis 
diverted him, for a time, from his career in Syria ; but, as 
soon as that danger had passed away, Bondocdar once more 
turned his arms against the Syrian Christians, and menaced 



124 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the county of Tripoli. The savage conqueror announced his 
approach by a letter characteristic of the man. 

" Where canst thou save thyself now ?" he wrote to the 
count. " By the living God, I know not what prevents me 
from tearing out thy heart and cooking it !" 

Submission turned him from his purpose, however ; and, 
soon after, the arrival of Prince Edward of England gave a 
shock to his power, and brought one more gleam of glory on 
the Christian arms. Edward came, indeed, with a mere 
handful of brave warriors ; but he showed what skill, pru- 
dence, and courage might still effect. Nazareth was taken ; 
a large Moslem force was defeated, and Bibars Bondocdar 
found that he had an adversary to deal with more dangerous 
than any who had yet risen up against him. He had re- 
course to the hand of the assassin ;* but even then he was 
unsuccessful. The assassin penetrated to the presence of the 
prince upon the pretense of bearing him a letter. When near 
enough to his victim, he drew a poniard from his robe, and 
stabbed him in more than one place ; but Edward instantly 
seized him with his powerful arm, cast him headlong on the 
ground, and stabbed him to the heart with his own hand. 
The dagger of the assassin was supposed to be poisoned ; but 
the wounds the prince had received did not prove mortal. 
Shortly after, a treaty of peace was concluded for ten years, 
ten months, ten days, and ten hours between the Sultan of 
Egypt and the Christians of the Holy Land. But Edward 
himself would not enter into conventions with the infidel : the 
treaty ran in the name of Hugh, king of Cyprus ; arid the 
English prince sailed away for his native shores, at the earnest 
prayer of his father. 

An effort was mad6 shortly after to rouse the spirit of Eu- 
ropean nations to a new crusade. Theobald Visconti, arch- 
deacon of Liege, had dwelt in the Holy Land, had witnessed 
the miseries of the Christians, and had become deeply inter- 
ested in the recovery of Jerusalem. He was still at Acre, 
when he was raised to the papal throne ; and his first efforts, 
on his return to Europe, were directed to raise forces for the 
great object of his heart. A general council was summoned 

* Mills, and almost all the modern writers on the crusades, lay the 
blame of the attempted assassination of Edward upon the Mussulman 
governor of Jaffa. They were apparently ignorant of the testimony of 
the Arabian historians ; for Ibn Ferat clearly shows that the governor 
of Ramla and Jaffa was merely a tool in the hands of Bibars, and em- 
ployed the assassin who stabbed Edward at the express command of 
the sultan. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 125 

to meet at Lyons, in May, 1274 ; and the grand masters 
of the Temple and the Hospital attended, to advocate the 
cause of the Syrian Christians. Monarchs and princes gave 
their aid : Rudolph of Hapsburg, Philip of France, Michael 
Palaeologus, Charles of Anjou and Sicily, with many another 
noble name, took part in the movement ; and every thing 
promised fair, when, after a short period of rule, Gregory X. 
was removed by death from the scene of his exertions, and 
the trumpet of the crusades ceased to sound in Europe. 

Disappointed and desponding, the grand master of the Tem- 
ple, William de Beaujeu, returned to Palestine. He took 
with him, it is true, a gallant band of knights of his own 
order, sent by the various Temple houses in England and 
France ; but he found Acre, now the capital of the Christian 
power in the Holy Land, one scene of confusion, contest, and 
vice. In the council of Lyons, Mary, princess of Antioch, 
descended from the youngest daughter of Isabella, queen of 
Jerusalem, had ceded to Charles of Anjou her claim to the 
throne of a kingdom which had long existed but in name. 
The claim itself was visionary ; for Hugh III., king of Cy- 
prus, was lineally descended from the Princess Alice, an elder 
daughter of Isabella ; and it only served as a pretext for dis- 
putes, of which there were already too many. The energies 
of the Christians of Syria were divided and weakened by con- 
tests for a visionary crown ; and the period of peace was wast- 
ed either in indulgence or discussion, instead of being employed 
in preparations for war. 

Nevertheless, the resolution of the grand master remained 
unshaken ; but it was all in vain that he endeavored to in- 
spire the same spirit into the breasts of others ; and all aid, 
but that of a few Italian free companions, was refused by 
Europe to the petitions of the Syrian Christians. Negotia- 
tions with the infidel, and gradual encroachments upon the 
Christian territory, filled up a considerable space of time, dur- 
ing which a nominal peace existed. The Sultan Bibars 
died. His son succeeded him, and was dethroned ; and an- 
other Mamaluke was raised to power, who inherited the cour- 
age, the skill, and the inveterate hatred of the Christian name 
which had distinguished Bondocdar. 

Malek-Mansour Kelaoun, the new sultan, soon displayed 
the course he intended to pursue ; but bis operations were im- 
peded by an event which might have afforded to the Chris- 
tians of Syria a chance of recovering some portion, at least, 
of their lost empire, had they had force, energy, and union ** 



126 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

take advantage of the favorable occasion. Alaschker, viceroy 
of Syria, raised the standard of revolt against the usurper of 
the throne of Egypt. He called to his aid Tartars, Georgians, 
and Armenians, and even applied for aid to the Christians ; 
but a general battle, won in the neighborhood of Emessa; re- 
stored the power of Egypt in Syria, and Kelaoun determined 
to seize the opportunity of driving the Franks into the sea. 
He soon found pretexts for violating treaties which were en- 
cumbered with numerous minute stipulations ; and his own 
historians do not deny that his commanders first began the 
war, by desolating the territories of the Hospitalers in the 
neighborhood of the fortress of Margat.* 

The knights of St. John took vengeance of the enemy ; 
and the menacing incursions of the Tartars induced Kalaoun 
to agree to another hollow and deceitful truce. Treaties 
were also entered into with Templars, and with the town of 
Acre ; but all these engagements were delusive ; and on the 
17th of April, 1285, Malek-Mansour appeared under the walls 
of Margat with an overwhelming force. For more than a 
month the brave Hospitalers resisted the whole efforts of the 
Mussulman army. An accident, indeed, aided their efforts ; for, 
when a practicable breach had been effected, one of the towers 
of Margat fell, and filled up the open space. A mine, how- 
ever, having been carried on into the very heart of the fortress, 
the knights perceived that resistance could no longer be efiectu- 
al, and, after a gallant defense, obtained an honorable capitu- 
lation. They retired to Tripoli arid to Tortosa ; and another 
truce succeeded, destined to be as speedily violated as any 
which had preceded it. Two years had hardly passed be- 
fore Kelaoun fabricated a cause of quarrel with the Count of 
Tripoli ; and Laodicea was attacked and taken almost with- 
out resistance. Its principal defenses had been ruined by an 
earthquake ; and the cunning Mamaluke took advantage of 
the moment to attack the city before they could be repaired. 
The Christian, says the Arabian historian, feared to resist an 
army protected by earthquakes and the angels of heaven, and 
offered to capitulate. 

Tripoli was now in a state of anarchy. The count him- 
self was dead ; and various persons strove for command in that 
important city. None of the neighboring Christian princes, 
except the King of Cyprus, afforded it any aid ; and, notwith- 

f * Mills, as usual, takes the part of the Moslem, and, in direct oppo- 
sition to the Arabian historians themselves, declares that " the restless 
Franks" gave the first offense. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 127 

standing its situation and its magnificent fortifications, it fell 
an easy prey to the Egyptian sultan. 

Three men on horseback could ride round the top of the 
walls of Tripoli abreast. The peninsula on which it stood 
was only joined to the land by a very narrow isthmus ; and 
the Isle of St. Nicholas, separated from the land by a small 
arm of the sea, was a citadel in itself. But nineteen military 
engines of enormous size now battered the walls incessantly ; 
fifteen hundred engineers were employed in undermining the 
ramparts, or in throwing Greek fire and other combustibles 
into the city ; and more than forty thousand men cut off the 
small garrison from all resource. The Knights Templars of 
the preceptory of Tripoli fought with their accustomed valor 
and devotion, and expiated, by their death in defense of the 
place, some treacherous practices against the count, of which 
they had been convicted. But the inhabitants of Tripoli 
were a manufacturing, self-indulgent people, ill-fitted to com- 
bat with the warlike Moslem. At the end of thirty-four days, 
the cavalry of Kelaoun. passed over the breach encumbered 
with dead bodies of Hospitalers and Templars ; and the town 
was given up to fire and pillage. Abul Feda, the historian 
prince, was present at the fall of Tripoli, and tells the horrors 
which he himself witnessed. 

Acre, the last and strongest of the Christian cities, might 
well now tremble ; but the menacing aspect of the Tartars de- 
terred Kelaoun, for some time, from executing his meditated 
attack upon the remnant of the Christians. 

Both Mamalukes and Tartars treated, in the mean time, 
with the European sovereigns ; and many a curious page of 
history is occupied with an account of these negotiations be- 
tween the East and the West. The Tartars sought to in- 
duce the Christian princes to engage, with their alliance, in 
a new crusade ; the Egyptians to deter them from interfering 
in the affairs of Syria. But the crusading spirit was now but 
a spark in the ashes, and Europe held out no hand of help to 
Christian Palestine. 

Several other small towns fell after the destruction of Tripo- 
li ; and then Malek-Mansour made vast preparations to attack 
the town of Acre. A pretext was speedily found in an act of 
wild justice perpetrated by a Christian upon a Mussulman who 
had seduced his wife ; and the greatest armament was collect- 
ed for the attack of Acre which had ever been seen in Egypt. 

The state of Acre itself seemed to invite a conqueror. It 
is thus described by Fuller in his Holy War : 



128 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

" In it were some of all countries ; so that he who had lost 
his nation might find it here. Most of them had several 
courts to decide their causes in, and the plenty of judges 
caused the scarcity of justice, malefactors appealing to a trial 
in the courts of their own country. It was sufficient inno- 
cence for any offender in the Venetian court that he was a 
Venetian. Personal acts were entitled national, and made 
the cause of the country. Outrages were every where prac- 
ticed, nowhere punished ; as if to spare Divine revenge the. 
pains of overtaking them, they would go forth and meet it. 
At the same time, they were in fitters about prosecuting their 
titles to this city, no fewer than the Venetians, Genoese, Pi- 
sans, Florentines, the kings of Cyprus and Sicily, the agents 
for the kings of France and England, the princes of Tripoli 
and Antioch, the patriarch of Jerusalem, the masters of the 
Templars and Hospitalers, and (whom I should have named 
first) the legate of his holiness, all at once, with much vio- 
lence, contending about the right of nothing, the title to the 
kingdom of Jerusalem, and command of this city, like bees, 
making the greatest humming and buzzing in the hive when 
now ready to leave it." 

The city was divided into many quarters, and these quar- 
ters were apportioned each to one of the different nations 
which it contained. The Mohammedans from the neighbor- 
hood came and went, and some, it would appear, even pos- 
sessed houses within the walls. Frequent feuds and sanguin- 
ary encounters took place among the inhabitants, and vice 
and debauchery of every kind were frightfully prevalent among 
all classes. The riches of the city were immense ; the arts 
were cultivated ; luxury Avas at its height ; private houses, as 
well as the numerous churches, were decorated with pictures 
and statues, and windows of glass. We read of nothing but 
marble fountains, silken canopies, gold, and embroidery. The 
markets were supplied with the produce of all countries, and 
scribes and interpreters were found to write and translate 
every language of the earth. 

The walls of Acre, repaired by Richard, had been strength- 
ened at various times since his death, and consisted of a double 
rampart, with immense towers at intervals of a stone's throw. 
Within the walls were four fortified buildings, which might 
be considered as citadels, though the real citadel or castle was 
called the King's Tower. The other three consisted of the 
house or convent of the Knights Templars, the strongest and 
most important of all, capable of containing several thousand 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 129 

men, and furnished with immense and well-constructed de- 
fenses, the convent of the Hospitalers, and that of the Teu- 
tonic Knights. The sea washed the walls of the city on one 
side ; and an artificial port, with fortifications for its protection, 
completed the defenses of the place. Toward the sea, how- 
ever, the wall was single ;* but on the land side no means 
had been left unemployed to strengthen the fortifications ; and 
a deep ditch surrounded the whole of the city. 

Such was the state of Ptolemais, when Kelaoun gathered 
together his immense host for the attack of the city, and pre- 
pared the military engines which were to destroy its fortifica- 
tions. The work of conquest, however, was reserved for an- 
other hand. Kelaoun was seized by illness ere he could set 
out on his expedition, and died at Cairo in the beginning of 
1291. He was succeeded by his son, Malek-Aschraf Khalil, 
who hesitated not a moment to take upon himself the unac- 
complished enterprise of his father. The troops were imme- 
diately put in motion. A wild enthusiasm for the destruction, 
of the Christians seized upon all the Mussulman states ; the 
volunteers were more numerous than the regular soldiers; 
enormous military engines were constructed, one of which re- 
quired a hundred wagons to carry it ; and two hundred thou- 
sand men, horse and foot, encamped under the walls of Acre 
in the beginning of April, 1291. 

The inhabitants of the city were immensely numerous. 
The port was filled with merchant shipping, besides the gal- 
leys of the Hospital and the Temple. The Island of Cyprus 
offered a near and secure place of refuge ; but yet, strange to 
say, comparatively^ few, even of the women, the children, or 
the aged and incapable, relieved the doomed city of their pres- 
ence. About twelve thousand fighting men, besides the sol- 
diers of the Temple and the Hospital, formed the garrison of 
Acre ; but they had a worse enemy within the walls than even 
the foe who assailed them from without. Dissension was rife 
among the people. A scanty band of troops, which had been 
sent by the pope, gave themselves up to drunkenness and de- 
bauchery. The Genoese, the Pisans, and the Venetians, 
were in open contest in the port and in the streets, and refused 
to obey the commanders, who had been chosen from the mil- 
itary orders. Confusion, strife, crime, disarray, pervaded the 
city from end to end when the standard of the crescent ap- 
peared before the gates. 

* Herman Corner. 
F2 



130 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

The whole weight of the defense fell upon the military or- 
ders ; and it would appear that the principal command was 
intrusted to William de Beaujeu, grand master of the Temple, 
whose age, experience, and skill well justified the choice. For 
six weeks the siege continued. Night and day the contest 
lasted. The miners attacked the walls and towers ; the en- 
gines hurled immense masses of stone and pots of fire into the 
town ; houses and palaces were crushed and burned ; multi- 
tudes were killed in the streets ; sallies innumerable took 
place ; but the progress of the enemy, though from time to 
time retarded, was great ; and at length, one of the principal 
defenses, called the Cursed Tower, fell with a tremendous 
noise. 

Early in the siege, the King of Cyprus arrived to the aid 
of the inhabitants, with a small force of horse and foot ; and 
for some time he continued the fight gallantly by the side of 
his fellow-Christians. His post was in the neighborhood of 
the Cursed Tower ; but when that important defense was de- 
stroyed, he retreated to his ships, followed not only by his own 
men, but by a considerable portion of the garrison, and made 
sail for Cyprus. Greatly has he been blamed for this defec- 
tion ; arid some blame he certainly deserved ; but those who 
have censured him most severely forgot to mention the awful 
disorders that reigned in the city, and which might preclude 
all hope of successful resistance to the enemy.* 

A considerable number of the inhabitants followed the ex- 
ample of the King of Cyprus, and seemed to give up the city 
for lost. Still, however, William de Beaujeu and the grand 
master of the Hospital conducted the defense with uncon- 
querable courage, and for ten days after the fall of the Cursed 
Tower, maintained the city against the whole force of the 
Moslem. It would seem that, on one occasion, the town was 
actually in the hands of the enemy; but a charge of the 
Templars and Red Cross Knights drove the Mamalukes back 
through the breach by which they had entered. 

At length, however, the fatal day of the fall of Acre came ; 
and on Friday, the 18th of May, some time before daybreak, 
the whole of the infidel troops were drawn up ready for the 

* In an account of the siege of Acre, said to have been given by a 
monk of the order of St. Basil to the pope, the conduct of the King of 
Cyprus is highly lauded, while great blame is cast upon many ol the 
Hospitalers and Templars, who are said to have shown great insub- 
ordination, and, scorning the commands of their superiors, to have re- 
fused to take part in the dangers and labors of the siege. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 131 

attack. Three hundred drummers, mounted on camels, sound- 
ed the charge ; and the storming party rushed on toward a 
practicable breach in the wall, near the Cathedral of St. An- 
thony. The first body consisted of fanatics, called Chages, 
perfectly naked, who advanced sword in hand, as if for bat- 
tle ; but their devotion now had another object. Casting 
themselves into the ditch in crowds, and lying prostrate among 
the ruined walls, they filled up with their living bodies the 
whole of the deep fosse, making a bridge for the Mamaluke 
cavalry to pass over. With loud shouts and the clang of 
drums, the Moslem poured in, and step by step won their way 
to the heart of the city. 

The defense was fierce and resolute ; for, though the Arabs 
say the Christians soon fled, yet they allow themselves that 
the Mohammedans did not effect an entrance for several 
hours. Nothing, during this dreadful day, was wanting qn 
the part of the grand masters of the Temple and the Hospi- 
tal. For some time they fought side by side in the streets, 
their knights forming a living barrier, with their mailed bodies, 
against the torrent of infidel war. Hundreds and hundreds 
fell ; and, as a last resource, it was agreed that while William 
de Beaujeu maintained the struggle in the streets, the grand 
master of the Hospital, with five hundred knights, should is- 
sue forth by a postern, alid attack the enemy in ftank. About 
this time fell Matthew de Clermont, marshal of St. John ; 
and hardly had the grand master of the Hospital departed, 
when William de Beaujeu himself was slain by an arrow. 
The rest of the knights of the Temple who were left alive, 
retreated, fighting step by step, .till they reached their forti- 
fied convent ; and the Hospitalers who issued forth to attack 
the enemy's rear were all killed, with the exception of seven, 
who with difficulty made their way to the ships, after hear- 
ing that the place was actually taken. 

Terrible was the scene which the devoted city now pre- 
sented. The miserable inhabitants in thousands fled to the 
port, hoping to gain the ships and find refuge on another 
shore ; but, as if to add to the horrors of that day, an awful 
tempest swept along the Syrian coast. Thunder and light- 
ning, wind and rain, warred against the unhappy Christians 
of Palestine ; and, in the words of the ancient Britons, the 
barbarians drove them into the sea ; and the sea cast them 
back upon the barbarians. But a small portion escaped in 
the boats and ships ; multitudes were drowned in the attempt ; 
as many were slaughtered on the shore. More than ten 



132 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

thousand madly hoped to find pity in a heart more inexorable 
than the storm, and east themselves at the feet of Khalil 
praying for life. The sultan distributed them among his 
emirs ; and each emir slaughtered his share. Not one was 
left. The women, the children, the old men, fled to the 
churches, embraced the altars, called upon the saints for help.* 
But there was no aid, no mercy, no sanctuary. The cimeter 
and the torch pursued them wherever they turned. Palaces, 
markets, temples, were fired without remorse ; and thousands 
of shrieking women and young children perished with the ob- 
jects of their superstitious worship. For two days, says an 
eye-witness, the order of the barbarous conqueror was execu- 
ted, to put every one, without distinction of age or sex, to the 
sword. The third day an order was given to burn the corpses ; 
and some mitigation of the Moslem fury took place. The 
women and the children were spared to a life of slavery ; but 
all the men capable of bearing arms were slaughtered. Riv- 
ulets of Christian blood flowed amid the burning streets of 
Acre. 

In the mean time, one building, detached from all the rest, 
and a fortress in itself, resisted the efforts of the infidel forces. 
The Temple House of Acre covered a large spa<;e of ground, 
and was surrounded by walls and towers almost as strong as 
those of the*city. It is, perhaps, no{ very possible to describe 
it accurately at present ; but we know that, within the walls, 
it contained a palace, a church, a market-place, and a mon- 
astery. There, as I have before shown, the surviving knights 
of the Temple, somewhat more than three hundred in num- 
ber, with the serving brethren and a considerable body of the 
inhabitants of Acre, among whom were many women and 
children of high rank, found refuge when the city itself fell. 
In all, it would appear from the account of Aboul Mohas- 
sen, the Temple House gave shelter to four thousand men. 
The knights, as soon as the gates were closed and the place 
in a position of defense, held a chapter of the order, and elect- 
ed a grand master of the name of Gaudini, to supply the 
place of their deceased leader, William de Beaujeu. They 
then prepared to make the most strenuous resistance. 

Their only hope must have been to obtain honorable terms 
of surrender ; and it matters not much by whom the proposal 
of a capitulation was first made. The Christians and the 
Mohammedans differ. Certain it is, however, the sultan 
agreed to grant, and the Templars to accept, terms highly 
honorable to themselves. The lives of all persons at that 






THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 133 

moment within the walls of the Temple were to be spared. 
Shipping was to be placed at their disposal to carry them to 
some other land ; and they were to be allowed to retire in 
peace whithersoever they pleased, with the fugitives who were 
under their protection, and so much of their more precious 
goods as each man could carry. As a pledge of good faith, 
the sultan sent the Templars a standard, and a guard of 
three hundred Mussulman soldiers to insure the due execution 
of the treaty. The standard was placed on one of the towers 
of the Temple, and the Mussulman guard was admitted ; 
but a shameful violation of the terms very speedily took place. 
The women had hidden themselves in the church of the Tem- 
ple ; but they did not escape the eyes or the violence of the 
Moslem. Attracted by their beauty, the guards, sent for 
their protection, forgot the terms of the treaty, burst into the 
church, and polluted the sacred edifice by infamous violence. 
The Templars closed their gates, and slaughtered the crimin- 
als to a man. 

Immediately an attack from without began upon the Tem- 
ple House ; but the knights made a gallant defense during the 
whole of Saturday, the 19th of May. On the 20th, a depu- 
tation was sent to explain to the sultan the offense offered by 
his Mamalukes, and the cause of their massacre. The Franks 
and the Arabs differ much as to what followed ; but both ac- 
counts are equally unfavorable to the honor and justice of 
Khalil. The Christians declare that he at once put the dep- 
uties to death, and that Gaudini, finding the place could not 
be maintained, selected a certain number of the knights, gath- 
ered together the treasures of the order, and all the holy relics 
it possessed, and escaping to the port by a secret postern, got 
possession of a galley, and reached Cyprus in safety. The 
Templars who remained defended the great tower, called the 
Master's Tower, with valor and success, till the walls were 
undermined and the building fell, crushing to death all whom 
it contained. 

Such is the Christian account ; and there gan be no doubt 
that Gaudini, with a small body of the brethren, escaped by 
sea. 

The story, as told by the Arabs, is different and more char- 
acteristic of Kahlil. After giving an account of the offense 
and massacre of the Mamaluke guard, Aboul Mohassen goes 
on to say that the standard of the sultan was thrown down, 
the strife recommenced, and the Temple House was besieged 
in form. The combat lasted all the Saturday. On the Sun- 



134 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

day, the Templars having again demanded to capitulate, the 
sultan promised them their lives, and liberty to retire whither- 
soever they would. Thereupon they came down (this must 
mean with all the fugitives), and were put to death, to the 
number of more than two thousand. An equal number were 
made prisoners ; and the women and children who were with 
them were conducted to the tent of the sultan. Some Tem- 
plars, however, resisted still, and, having learned the treat- 
ment of their brethren, resolved to die with arms in their 
hands, and would hear no more of capitulation. Such was 
their rage that, having got possession of five Mussulmans, they 
cast them headlong from the top of the tower. The tower, 
however, was at length completely mined ; and once more a 
promise of life was made to the Christians, if they would sur- 
render. A body of Mussulmans approached to take possession ; 
but at that moment the tower fell, and Christians and Mo- 
hammedans were crushed together under the ruins. Such is 
the Arabian account. 

Thus fell the Temple House at Acre. The town was fired 
in four places ; the walls were razed to the ground ; the 
churches and the houses which escaped the flames were cast 
down ; and nothing remained of Acre but a pile of stones. 

The Order of the Temple, however, still subsisted. Numer- 
ous preceptories were to be found in various Christian coun- 
tries ; Limisso, or Limesol, in Cyprus, became the chief estab- 
lishment of the order ; and a powerful fleet, great wealth, and 
considerable bodies of troops rendered.it an object of terror to 
the infidel and of jealousy to many Christian princes. Gau- 
dini did not long survive the expulsion of the Christians from 
the Holy Land. He died in Cyprus during the year 1295 ; 
and James de Molay, of an illustrious family of Burgundy, 
then grand preceptor in England, was elected grand master 
of the order. His predecessors had fought and died in arms 
against the infidel ; but the last grand master, James de Mo- 
lay, was destined to fall before the evil passions of his fellow- 
Christians. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 135 
CHAPTER III. 

THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 

STRANGE that the first grand triumph of the Order of the 
Temple, after more than a century of disaster, should take 
place at the period of its greatest depression, on the very eve 
of its utter extinction ! 

Why are there such rejoicings in Jerusalem ? How is it 
that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher shines again as in the 
days of Christian rule ? Who are these men with white gar- 
ments and the red cross embroidered on the heart, who tread 
Moriah as conquerors ? Who are these who celebrate on 
Mount Sion, with holy songs and rejoicings, the return of 
Easter ? 

The Templars are again in Jerusalem. The Christians 
stand as victors in the Holy City. Now, ye nations of Eu- 
rope ; now, ye descendants of those who shed their blood to re- 
cover from the infidel the scene of our Lord's earthly pilgrim- 
age, now is the time to give aid to the. soldiers of the Cross, 
and Palestine is yours forever ! 

How did this marvelous change come about ? and how is 
it that the followers of Mohammed have been driven back ? 

Strange is the destiny of every nation ; but it would seem 
that the changes and revolutions of Eastern countries are far 
more rapid than those of the West. Histories are enacted in 
a few years ; and dynasties shoot up and perish with a rapid- 
ity unknown in other climates. Twelve years since, Kelaoun 
marched from conquest to conquest. Eight years since, the 
last of their possessions in Syria was wrested from the hands 
of the Christians ; and yet now the Templars stand triumph- 
ant in the midst of Jerusalem, and give glory to God on 
Mount Sion. But a new race has descended from the mount- 
ains, to drive back the flood of Egyptian conquest. A new 
people has appeared in the great arena of Eastern warfare ; 
and for a moment for a brief moment, indeed the religious 
fate of Asia hangs in the balance. Shall that whole vast 
continent become Christian ? Shall the followers of the false 
prophet of Mecca be expelled by the sword of as fierce, as act- 
ive, as unsparing a tribe as themselves ? There is a chance 
of such a result. 



1S6 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Where are the preachers of Christendom now ? Where 
are the bishops, the missionaries, the zealous servants of the 
Lord ? They slumber. The tongue of St. Bernard is silent 
in the grave. The voice of Fulke is heard no more. Popes, 
and kings, arid priests are busy with selfish cares and mun- 
dane interests. There is little faith, less zeal, no enthusiasm ; 
and the hour goes by. 

Somewhat less than a hundred years before the time of 
which I speak, the famous Zingis-Khan went forth from the 
highlands of Asia to conquer the nations of the plain. China 
felt the edge of his sword ; and with seven hundred thousand 
men, Moguls and Tartars, he descended from his hills, and 
swept the whole country from the Persian Gulf to the Caspi- 
an. The banks of the Indus owned his sway ; and the Eu- 
phrates saw him pass by like a tempest. His sons and grand- 
sons rivaled the glory of their ancestor ; and it was reserved 
for Houlagou-Khan, one of his many grandchildren, to extin- 
guish the califate of Bagdad, by the death of Mostasem,* the 
last of the Abbassides. Asia Minor had been invaded . Aleppo 
and Damascus were pillaged ; and though the Egyptian Mam- 
alukes, under the Sultan Kotouz, toward the year 1250, drove 
back the stream of Mogul conquest across the Euphrates, 
Bagdad, Iran, and the whole of Persia remained in the power 
of the shepherd warriors. 

Simple idolaters themselves, the Tartars, or Moguls, if it 
be necessary to make a difference, showed themselves far more 
disposed to embrace the doctrines of Christianity than to re- 
ceive the tenets of Mohammed. They entered into close and 
almost constant alliance with the Christian kings of Armenia, 
and treated them more as friends than as conquered tributa- 
ries. Constantly menacing the Syrian territories of the Sul- 
tans of Egypt, they retarded, though they did not prevent, the 
subjugation of the Christians of Palestine ; and it was under 
one ofthe greatest of their monarchs that the Templars once 
more entered into the city of Jerusalem. 

* Mostasem was put to death, in what way we are not very sure. 
It is said that, when the unfortunate calif was brought before his con- 
queror, the latter ordered him to be shut up in a room filled with gold 
and silver, observing that ordinary food was not fitted for such a prince, 
and that silver, gold, and precious stones, of which he was so fond, 
ought to be sufficient for his nourishment. Others declare that he was 
forced to swallow melted gold ; and others, that his head was cut off. 
The latter is the most probable account, although there can be no doubt 
that the Mogul barbarians entertained a great contempt for the lovers 
of gold and silver. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 137 

Leon, king of Armenia, had a daughter of the most exquis- 
ite beauty and of the highest virtue and accomplishments. 
The great monarch of Persia, Cazan-Khan, the friend and 
ally of the Armenian sovereign, demanded her in marriage. 
The princess was a Christian, the Persian emperor an idola- 
ter ; and polygamy was not forbidden, either by religion or 
custom, to a Mogul prince. From five to seven hundjred wives 
and concubines was a moderate establishment with the de- 
scendants of Zingis ; and the princess might fear, in the mul- 
titude of her rivals, to possess but a small portion of influence 
with her imperial lover. Nevertheless, she- became his wife, 
and not only won his almost undivided affection, but obtained 
great authority in his counsels, and by her moderation and 
wisdom, as well as by her extreme beauty, maintained the 
influence she had justly acquired. The free exercise of her 
own religion was permitted to her ; a Christian temple was 
erected for her worship ; and she drew closer and closer the 
bonds of alliance between her husband and her fellow- Chris- 
tians. Such was the state of affairs in Bagdad when Cazan- 
Khan, seeing the immense progress of the Moslem in Syria, 
and judging that a struggle must come between himself and 
the Sultan of Egypt, determined to strike the first blow, and 
to pass the Euphrates with an overwhelming force. 

The fate of the Templars had in the mean time been hard. 
The first reception by the King of Cyprus of the little band 
expelled from Syria had been kind and hospitable ; but the 
numbers, both of the red-cross knights and the Knights of St. 
John, which now flocked to the island, alarmed the monarch ; 
and, before Gaudini's death, a system of petty annoyance and 
exaction had begun, which the Templars resisted in vain. 
Three great preceptories of the order, at Limesol, Nicotia, and 
Gastira, with several smaller buildings, already belonged to 
the Knights of the Temple ; but the King of Cyprus forbade 
any further establishments, and endeavored to impose a capi- 
tation tax upon the order, in common with the rest of the in- 
habitants of Cyprus. The soldiers of the Temple pleaded 
exemption under many decrees from Rome ; but the descend- 
ant of Guy of Lusignan seemed to have little reverence for 
the papal mandates ; and the disputes between the king and 
the order were running high, almost to open war, when the 
brief and inglorious career of Gaudini terminated. 

James de Molay was a man of a very different character, 
firm but moderate, full of religious zeal without fanaticism, 
devout, strict, and disinterested. He was in England as grand 



138 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

preceptor when his elevation to the head of the order was an- 
nounced to him ; and, after framing various wise regulations 
for the government of the knights in this country, he crossed 
the sea to France, acted as godfather to the son of Philip the 
Fair, and then hastened to join his brethren in Cyprus. He 
found the dissension between the knights and the sovereign of 
the islan^ at its height ; and the rash efforts of Boniface VIII. 
in favor of the Templars only rendered the dispute more vio- 
lent. An opportunity soon presented itself, however, of quit- 
ting the island with dignity and propriety ; and James de 
Molay seized it at once. 

The preparations of Cazan-Kahn for the greatest enterprise 
of his whole reign were now complete. He had resolved to 
drive the Mamalukes from Syria. He demanded the co-op- 
eration of Georgia and Armenia. He negotiated even with 
the pope, and with the Christian princes of Europe ; and he 
agreed that Palestine, if recovered from the Sultan of Egypt, 
should remain in possession of the Christians. Georgia and 
Armenia readily answered to his call ; but the only European 
Christians who joined him were the knights of the military 
orders. James de Molay did not hesitate ; but, gathering to- 
gether as large a force of the Templars as could be spared 
from the preceptories, he set sail early in the year 1299, once 
more to plant the standard of the cross on the shores of Syria. 

A large Tartar, Mogul, and Armenian force had already 
entered the territories over which the sultan claimed domin- 
ion, and had encamped among the ruins of Antioch. The 
distance from Cyprus was but small ; and the galleys of the 
Temple reached Suadeah in safety. There, for the first time 
after many years, close by the ancient Selusia, with its sepul- 
chral rocks, and under the towering heights of Mount Casius, 
with the mouth of the Orontes near at hand, and within a 
short march of that city whence Paul and Barnabas were sent 
forth to preach the Gospel among the isles of the Gentiles, 
the great standard of the cross was raised once more by the 
soldiers of the Temple. Under the shadow of the Beauseant 
they marched on at once to join the forces of Cazan-Khan ; 
and a division, consisting of thirty thousand men, having been 
placed under the command of James de Molay, the combined 
forces of Moguls, Armenians, and Franks commenced their 
march toward Damascus. 

The rulers of Egypt, however, were not inactive. Levies 
were instantly made, and led rapidly into Palestine. Damas- 
cus added her multitudes ; and at Hems, on the high road 






THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 139 

between Aleppo and Damascus, the two armies met and en- 
gaged. It seemed as if on that action depended the fate ot 
Asia, and perhaps the ascendency of the Christian or Moham- 
medan faith in the East, and the troops on either side fought 
with desperate valor. But the forces of Islam were totally 
defeated ; and the victorious Moguls, with their Frankish al- 
lies, pursued and slaughtered them, till night stopped the car- 
nage. 

Aleppo, it would seem, had already surrendered. Damas- 
cus fell an easy prey to the conquerors. The Mussulmans 
abandoned the towns on the road to Jerusalem, and the Holy 
City itself was left nearly undefended. The Templars march- 
ed on and took possession of Hierosolyma, and it was now that 
they celebrated the feast of Easter in triumph and rejoicing. 

One more effort was made by Cazan to rouse the European 
Christians to seize the favorable opportunity, and had it been 
successful, what might have been the result ? All were dull 
to the call, however ; and though Pope Boniface, in his let- 
ters, lauds the pagan protector of Christianity, he exerted him- 
self but little to second the efforts of the Tartar. 

In the mean time, disorders broke out in Iran, and Cazan 
was obliged to withdraw, in order to restore tranquillity in his 
own dominions. He left, however, a considerable force under 
the command of the grand master, who, pursuing his success- 
ful course, drove the Mamalukes back to Gaza, and forced 
them even, it is said, to take refuge in the desert. 

Then comes a period of doubt and darkness. Cazan trust- 
ed, it would appear, to some Mohammedan officers, who be- 
trayed his cause. The Mussulmans of Syria rose in defense 
of their religion ; and, although supported by re-enforcements 
from Persia, De Molay was forced to retreat. The struggle, 
however, was again renewed ; but the illness of Cazan, his 
death in 1303, and the decline of the Mogul power, deprived 
the Christians of their last hope of recovering the Holy Land. 

After all had been lost which the brief campaign of 1299 
had obtained, a party of the Templars retreated to a small 
island in the neighborhood of Tortosa, where they were speed- 
ily attacked by an overwhelming force, and the greater part 
of them were put to death or sent in chains to Egypt. Some 
of them escaped, however, or were ransomed from captivity ; 
and among them was James de Molay, who was reserved for 
a fate more terrible than an honorable death by the sword of 
the infidel.* 

* John Villani gives some curious details, both of the manner of lift 



140 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER VII. 

THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 

THERE is a vacancy in the history of the Templars for sev- 
eral years. The order was still numerous in England, France, 
Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Italy ; but we know little of 
their proceedings, from a short time before the death of Cazan- 
Khan, to the first open commencement of the infamous per- 
secution of the order in the year 1307. The head-quarters of 
the Templars had been re-established in Cyprus ; and there 
was the chief treasury of the order, under the care of James 
de Molay, who was apparently unsuspicious of any evil act 
meditated against a body of men who had been for so many 
years the main support of Christian Palestine. 

Nevertheless, numerous events had taken place which might 
have shown this brave, dignified, and amiable man the blow 
that menaced the order, its object, and its cause. Right and 
justice had been violated toward the Templars in many coun- 
tries. Two Edwards had seized, without just cause, consid- 
erable sums belonging to the Templars in England. Many 
noblemen and sovereign princes had infringed their rights and 
privileges. The clergy, generally, hated and menaced them, 

of the Moguls, and of the events which took place in Syria at the end 
of the thirteenth century. He declares that Cazan was actually con- 
verted to Christianity by his wife ; but he loads the story of the con- 
version with a miracle which renders it doubtful. He asserts positive- 
ly, however, that Cazan visited devoutly the Holy Sepulcher; and in 
most particulars he confirms the accounts of other authors respecting 
the Tartar invasion of Syria, and the recovery of Jerusalem. I am in- 
clined to think that John of Ypres has confounded some of the actions 
of Cazan with those of Houlagou, for it would certainly seem that the 
author lived after the period at which his chronicle terminates. The 
manners of the Tartars, as described by Villani, would appear to be 
those which prevailed among the Moguls at an earlier period than the 
reign of Cazan, for they had certainly, by that time, adopted many of 
the habits of the nations they had conquered, and lost a great deal of 
that rude simplicity which he attributes to them. It is very possible, 
indeed, that they still drank the blood of their horses or their flocks, 
when they could not get water ; but their residence in Bagdad must 
have inured them to many of the luxuinous habits of civilized life ; and 
it is clear, from other accounts, that the bow and arrow were not the 
only weapons which they employed. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 141 

on account of the immunities which had been granted to them 
by various popes. Separated from the rest of the world, and 
deprived, to a great extent, of the ties of kindred, they had 
few interests and feelings in common with the laity. The 
spirit of the crusades had died out ; Palestine was lost ; they 
were no longer admired as the incarnation of a wide- spread 
enthusiasm ; they were no longer needed as the barrier to 
Christian Europe ; but it was individual cupidity and person- 
al malice which prompted their destruction, and directed the 
blow. 

The Templars were not faultless. There is a certain de- 
gree of cold arrogance almost invariably generated by unsocial 
isolation ; and the Templars, proud of their order, were prob- 
ably offensively haughty to less devoted, if not less courageous 
persons. There is no proof that they were ambitious ; but 
the fact is notorious that they took part in the feuds and war- 
fares of the countries which they inhabited, and, on more than 
one occasion, drew, in the service of a secular prince, the 
sword which they had dedicated to the service of God, as they 
understood that service. Many Templars fell on the field of 
Falkirk, aiding the most iniquitous oppression that any prince 
ever attempted to inflict upon an independent people. They 
took part in the wars of the rival houses of Aragon and An- 
jou ; arid they supported Boniface VIII. in his opposition to 
Philip the Fair. This was a great crime in the eyes of the 
French king ; but there was a still greater : the Templars 
were exceedingly wealthy. 

Philip was a man, cold, calculating, remorseless, but am- 
bitious and avaricious to a high degree. He mounted the 
French throne when only seventeen years of age, and very 
soon began to show the qualities which he afterward displayed 
more fully. His barbarous treachery toward Guy de Dam- 
pierre, count of Flanders, and his young daughter, in the year 
1297, left a stain upon his name which nothing could efface ; 
and the death of the unhappy princess, from grief, roused the 
indignation of all Europe, and produced a war between France 
and Flanders, which, of course, terminated to the disadvant- 
age of the weaker power. By a double marriage, Philip 
contrived to detach England from the interests of the Count 
of Flanders ; by another .act of treachery, obtained possession 
of the count, his two sons, and forty Flemish noblemen ; an- 
nexed Flanders to the crown of France, and filled it with 
blood-suckers, whose sole end and object seemed to be to drain 
the rich country of its wealth. A revolt and a massacre were 



142 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the consequences ; and the king himself, not daring to quit 
his capital, where symptoms of disaffection were exceedingly 
strong, sent his impetuous cousin, Robert of Artoise, once more 
to subdue and punish the Flemings. The army of France, 
the choice of her nobility, supported by a large body of infan- 
try, and comprising nearly five thousand men of knightly rank, 
was defeated at Courtrai, by the peasantry and citizens of 
Flanders. A terrible slaughter took place ; and four thousand 
pairs of golden spurs, gathered on the field of battle, attested 
the destruction of the chivalry of France, and won ibr the 
event the name in history of the battle of the Spurs. 

Vengeance was strong in the heart of the King of France ; 
but he was prevented from gratifying it, for the tune, by the 
consequences of other crimes. The people of France suffered 
under the same extortions as the Flemings. Tax upon tax 
ground the lower classes to the earth ; and the debasement 
of the coin had reached to such an extent, that each piece of 
silver or gold was only worth one seventh part of its nominal 
value. The king and his ministers forced the unhappy sub- 
jects of the crown to receive this money from the royal mints 
at the same rate at which a purer coinage passed in the reign 
of St. Louis ; and in the mouth of the people the name of 
Philip the Fair was changed to Philip the False Money-maker. 

Oppression, borne impatiently and long, at length roused 
the people to resistance. Riots took place in many towns ; 
and in the capital, the people rose against the king and his 
ministers, pillaged the houses of their oppressors, and menaced 
the safety of the monarch. Forced to fly from his palace, 
Philip took refuge in the strong and defensible buildings of 
the Temple The people followed him in arms, invested the 
Temple House, and threatened to starve Philip into surrender. 
For two days no provisions were suffered to enter ; but the 
enthusiasm of fury died away ; tranquillity was restored in the 
capital ; and the king escaped the fate which seemed to men- 
ace him. 

The Templars of Paris had given honorable shelter to the 
monarch, closed their gates against his enemies, and promised 
to protect his person. But there is much reason to believe 
that he demanded more of them, that he required them to act 
against his people, and that the Templars refused. It was 
forbidden to them to draw the sword against their fellow- 
Christians, except in their own defense ; and although, as in- 
dividuals, they had occasionally violated this rule, yet they 
had never done so in a body. Moreover, at that time the 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 143 

most vehement dissensions existed between the King of France 
and the papal see, going on to indecent violence on the part 
of Philip, which the Templars could not see without indigna- 
tion, exercised toward a pontiff who had always shown him- 
self favorable to their order. , . 

This cause of offense was probably not forgotten, yet Philip 
could dissemble ; and it would appear that no plan for taking 
vengeance on the Templars, or stripping them of their wealth, 
suggested itself, so long as the papal throne was occupied by 
a pontiff independent of the power of France. The popes 
had so completely committed themselves to the support of the 
order of the Temple, that with no degree of decency could they 
withdraw their protection ; and Alexander IV.., in the middle 
of the thirteenth century, had even defended the Templars, 
both against the clergy and the monastic orders, with a vigor 
and decision that repressed for a time the jealousy which the 
military monks had excited. 

Boniface VIII., an intemperate and turbulent man, died in 
the end of 1303, from the effects produced upon an exhausted 
frame and vehement mind, by the ill treatment he had re- 
ceived at the hands of Philip the Fair. He was succeeded 
by a wiser and a better pontiff, Benedict XI., cardinal of Os- 
tia, not wanting in firmness, not wanting in moderation. He 
quieted the dissensions of the Church, mitigated the severity 
of the bulls which Boniface had fulminated against PJh'lip, 
but refused to grant the perfect reconciliation of that monarch 
to the Church, till he had made more ample atonement for 
his sacrilegious violence than he was yet inclined to do. It 
was at this period that the French king, knowing that, under 
such a man as Benedict, it would be impossible to execute a 
scheme for the destruction of the Templars, affected, with a 
common artifice of tyrants, the greatest attachment toward 
those whose ruin he meditated. In an edict of 1304, by 
which he granted them numerous privileges in France, he 
burst forth in their praise with somewhat exaggerated pane- 
gyric. 

"The works of piety and charity," he says ; "the magnifi- 
cent liberality which the holy order of the Temple has exer- 
cised at all times and in all places, and their noble courage, 
which ought still to be excited to the perilous defense of the 
Holy Land, have determined us to spread our royal bounty 
over the order and its knights in our kingdom, and to afford 
special marks of favor to an institution for which we entertain 
a sincere predilection." 



144 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

-Favors and praises, from a treacherous and unscrupulous 
monarch, ought, perhaps, to have caused alarm ; but Philip 
had as yet displayed no enmity of any kind toward an order 
confident in its strength and proud of its services. The grand 
master, James de Molay, had held the infant son of the French 
king at the baptismal font. The Temple House at Paris had 
been the monarch's chosen place of refuge in the hour of 
danger. The order numbered among its knights nobles of 
the highest rank in France, and princes allied to the blood 
royal. They had no fear, no suspicion, even when their ruin 
was determined, and nothing was wanting but opportunity. 

Opportunity soon came. On the 7th of July, 1304, died 
Benedict XI. ; and intrigues began for the tiara, on which 
the fate of the order of the Temple depended. For many 
months, the cardinals proceeded to no election. The conclave 
was divided into two factions: the Italian headed by the 
family of Cajetan, from whence had sprung Boniface VIII. ; 
and the French led by Orsini. The factions were equal ; and 
for nine long months the despicable and detestable cabals con- 
tinued. At length the Cardinal Bishop of Ostia, Nicolas di 
Prato, one of the Italian party, was secretly gained to the in- 
terests of Philip, and acted thenceforth with Italian cunning 
under French influence. To settle the long-pending election, 
he proposed to the conclave that the Italian party should 
name three persons, none of whom should be an Italian, that 
the French party should select one of the three, and that both 
should then unite for his election. The suggestion was im- 
mediately adopted, and secret messengers were sent off bearing 
intelligence from the Bishop of Ostia to the King of France. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 

IT was in the bright month of May ; and there is no month 
when nature looks more beautiful in the south of France. 
The fine old city of Bordeaux was full of fetes, pageants, and 
processions ; and the splendid ceremonies of the Roman Cath- 
olic Church lost nothing in the hands of the archbishop. It 
was the 27th of May, Holy Thursday, Ascension-day. The 
Cathedral of St. Andrew was crowded. A multitude -of 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 145 

priests surrounded the altar. The archbishop officiated in 
person, blazing like a meteor in his gorgeous robes. 

Wonderful it is, how many sins and iniquities, satin, and 
embroidery, and gold lace can cover entirely from the eyes of 
the multitude in the warm and enthusiastic South. The peo- 
ple gaze with reverence upon the majestic archbishop, and 
bow the head in humble devotion for his apostolical benedic- 
tion. But Bertrand de Got, Bertrand de Got, thou art not 
a very holy man, if all tales be true ! License and luxury, 
avarice and simony, are said to have comfortable lodging in 
thy palace ; and the fair Countess of Perigord, who moves 
out of the church before thee, will probably go no further than 
that palace for the day. 

With dignified step and slow, surrounded by his officers, 
and preceded by his cross-bearers, the archbishop moved down 
the nave, in his pontifical robes, and out of the great portal, 
willing to show himself, in his splendor, to the people who 
thronged the square. But when he was near the door, a 
chaplain pressed up to him, and whispered something in his 
ear. A change came over the archbishop's face. His cheek 
grew somewhat paler, and a frown came upon his brow. He 
marched on, however, with even a prouder air than before, 
and when he issued forth, looked to the right and left, as if in 
search of something. Not far from the gates of the arch- 
bishop's palace stood two or three men, holding dusty and 
tired horses by the bridle ; but Bertrand de Got entered with- 
out taking notice of them, and retired to his private apart- 
ments, leaving his train in the halls below. 

" Why you look angry, my lord," said the fair Countess of 
Perigord. " Has any thing evil happened since I left St. 
Andrew's ?" 

" Messengers have arrived from that beast, Philip of 
France," replied the archbishop, who was not always very 
choice in the epithets he applied in private to his enemies. 
" 'Tis some new quarrel, I suppose, stirred up by that per- 
turber of the peace of the Church. But we shall soon hear 
more." 

A few minutes after, a handsome and graceful boy brought 
him a letter, closed with silk and a great seal ; and, tearing 
it roughly open, the prelate read. The contents of the letter 
produced a great change upon him. He smiled, and then 
meditated, and then frowned, and then smiled again. Then, 
turning to the Countess of Perigord, he said, 

" This seems a repentant son of the Church, this King of 
G 



146 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

France. We must not reject the penitent. He invites me 
to meet him secretly, on matters which much interest me." 

" Does he give security for your safety ?" demanded the 
countess. 

" He does," replied the archbishop ; " and I will go." 
Horses were saddled in haste, and attendants ordered to 
prepare. A light meal was made ready, and taken ; and is- 
suing forth, shortly after, by a private door of the palace, Ber- 
trand de Got mounted a strong horse, and, followed by a few 
attendants, set out in a northerly direction. His apparel was 
a good deal changed. It was not altogether unclerical ; but 
over all was a large mantle, which concealed the signs of his 
profession. The archbishop rode well, and he rode fast. He 
rose the hill of Carbon Blanc and that of La Grave, and he 
drew not a bridle till he reached Cubzac. There he watered 
his horses ; but he turned not aside ; and immediately after 
rode on upon the way to Blaye. Here, however, he was 
obliged to pause for the night ; for he had ridden six-and- 
thirty miles since he set out, and darkness had overtaken 
him on the road. He had a longer journey before him the 
next day, and he rose early ; but there was a thick fog over 
the river, and the bishop paused for an hour or two till it 
had dispersed. As soon as the sun shone out a little, he was 
on horseback again, and on his way to St. Aubin. He stop- 
ped to breakfast at the priory, surprising the good monks by 
his unexpected visitation. Then on to Mirambeau, as fast as 
he could go, and thence to Pons, where he found hospitable 
entertainment at the castle ; for the Lord of Pous was an old 
boon companion of the archbishop. The wine was exceeding- 
ly good and the archbishop tired. His horses, too, wanted 
rest, so he was charitable to them and to himself; and he 
stayed two hours. At the end of that time he mounted again, 
and rode on five leagues more, to Saintes, which he reached 
when the sun was not very far from the horizon. He had 
not got to the end of his journey, however, by six leagues and 
a half ; and on he went, seeing the sun setting over the vines, 
which were covering hill and dale in rich profusion. From 
the last slight eminence, over which he passed before the close 
of day, he could see the distant towers of St. Jean d' Angely 
in the glowing light of the west, with its green vineyards.^and 
a deep wood, which at that time stretched far away on the 
east, all flooded with purple and gold. Forward he went ; 
but as he came near the town, it being then quite dark, he 
conferred with one of his attendants on the best road to take, 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 147 

and turned away to the right, about a mile before he reached 
the gates. The road led through the forest ; and, after pur- 
suing it for about half an hour, he stopped at some great gates, 
above which, and towering over the trees around, rose the 
walls and pinnacles of an old abbey. Dismounting from his 
horse, the archbishop applied for admission, and inquired of 
the porter whether the Count of Puelle* had arrived there 
that day. 

" Not an hour ago," replied the porter. " Who is it wishes 
to see him? I must not admit any one without warning." 

" Tell him it is Father Bertrand, the poor priest of St. An- 
drew's of Bordeaux," replied the archbishop ; and in a few 
minutes more he was admitted. He walked on, through the 
stone cloisters to the abbot's lodging, and was led by a lay 
brother to a small room, into which he was ushered unan- 
nounced ; but at a table before him, perfectly alone, sat Philip 
the Fair, king of France, dressed in exceedingly plain gar- 
ments, and looking somewhat aged and worn since the prelate 
had last seen him, but still, perhaps, the handsomest man in 
Europe at that time. 

The archbishop bowed low, while the lay brother who had 
guided him shut the door ; and Philip, without rising from 
his seat, gazed in his face with a dark, searching smile. The 
prelate advanced slowly to the table, not well knowing what 
to think of his reception, and then stood looking at the king 
with the lamp between them. The silence lasted nearly a 
minute ; and then, with a low laugh, but in very distinct 
tones, Philip asked, 

"Will you be pope?" 

If he had struck him, the archbishop would have been less 
astonished. He was too much accustomed to dealing with 
great things, however, to show all the surprise he felt. Since 
his elevation to the archiepiscopal dignity, he had lived in 
continual disputes with the King of France, and had thwart- 
ed him on many occasions. Nevertheless, he grappled with 
the question at once, and that boldly. 

" Considering all things, sire," he said, " I should have 
fancied myself the last man you would choose to name or 
the conclave to elect ; but this I will say, that if you so favor 
me, and they so honor me, both shall find that I am no longer 
the Archbishop of Bordeaux." 

" I care not what they find," answered Philip, bluntly ; 

* It was at Mons en Puelle that Philip and his brother gave a signal 
defeat to the Flemings. 



148 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

"but of course, my good lord, /expect to find a difference. I 
am not unwilling to see men taken in their own net sometimes. 
Now it is very possible that, simply because they thought you 
the last man I would select, the cardinals have placed your 
name upon this paper. You will remark that it contains three. 
From these the Orsini faction are to choose one. I am to 
name which they are to choose ; and whether I do choose the 
man whom they least expect, depends upon the accuracy of 
the judgment I have formed of him. I have found you an 
unruly bishop, my lord, a contumacious archbishop ; but, me- 
thinks, you may be made a very good pope, to my mind." 

" You will find me most grateful for your majesty's favors," 
replied the archbishop, " and submissive in all things to your 
better judgment and your good designs." 

" I must, of course, have certainties," replied the King of 
France. " I mean, something more definite than vague as- 
surances. Five positive engagements you must enter into with 
me. Look, I will put down the conditions;" and, taking a 
piece of paper, he wrote. When he had done, he raised the 
paper toward the lamp and read : 

" The first condition is," he said, " that you reconcile me 
perfectly with the Church ; the second, that you shall annul 
all ecclesiastical censures against my person, my ministers, my 
subjects, and my allies ; the third, that you grant me, for five 
years, the tenths of my kingdom ; the fourth, that you author- 
itatively condemn the memory of Boniface " 

The king paused, not with the slightest appearance of doubt 
for he looked firmly in the prelate's face but with that 
calm, deliberate halt which is sometimes employed by orators 
in speaking, to render what they are about to say more im- 
pressive. Bertrand de Got, at each of the four conditions re- 
cited, had quietly bowed his head without raising his eyes, 
which were fixed upon the table, as he stood in the attitude 
of attention. 

" The fifth," eaid the king, in continuation, " I shall keep 
to myself for the present, but will let you know its nature at 
the proper time and place." 

Bertrand de Got gently bowed his head once more. Philip 
saw that he was his ; that he was resolute to purchase at any 
price ; and, putting the paper over to him, with a laugh, to 
seal the compact, he said, " There, sign that, my lord, and you 
are pope."* 

* This interview and conversation are not imaginary : at least, iny im- 
agination has nothing to do with it. The feet of the secret interview, 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 149 

The Archbishop of Bordeaux, without the slightest hesita- 
tion, signed the paper ; and Philip, laying his hand smartly on 
his shoulder, said, " I congratulate your holiness. The courier 
shall set out this very night (he is booted and saddled) and 
bear the letter to the conclave. It is already written." 

" I am glad your majesty judged so justly of my devotion to 
your service," replied Bertrand de Got, " and comprehended 
that, in the unhappy differences which have occasionally taken 
place between us, I only had in view your real interests." 

" Ha ! my lord," replied Philip, " we both understood each 
other." 

The letter was immediately dispatched. Both the Orsirii 
and Cajetan factions were surprised at the nomination it con- 
tained. But they were bound by their compact. Bertrand 
de Got was elected pope, and assumed the name of Clement 
V. His coronation took place at Lyons ; and, to the con- 
sternation of Italy, he declared that he would fix his residence 
at Avignon. Ten cardinals were created at his coronation. 
Nine of them were, Frenchmen. It was clear to every one 
that he had sold himself for a tiara. 

He proceeded in haste to execute the four specified condi- 
tions of the bond. What was the fifth ? A French historian 
has said, " It has never been positively known what was the 
fifth article of the convention ; but all historians have con- 
jectured, perhaps from the facts which followed, that it was 
the destruction of the order of the Temple." 

Can any one doubt it ? Philip might well keep it secret, 
even from the creature whose soul he was purchasing, till he 
had in some degree prepared the way for a proposal the most 
monstrous and the most frightful that ever was made by one 
man to another. 

To reconcile an offending monarch to the Church, to annul 

the place, and the time, is admitted. The conversation, with its com- 
pact, is told by almost eveiy historian of the time, with some small va- 
riation in the words, but none in the sense, and very little in the manner. 
All give the same description of the king's abruptness, and of the brev- 
ity of the discussion. Philip and Bertrand de Got were here, as bad 
men meeting, the one to sell, the other to buy. The former named his 
price. The latter agreed at once to give it. This is the history of the 
whole transaction. How historians happen to know the details, I need 
not here inquire. Whether Philip, in one of his scornful moods, told 
the anecdote of his creature the pope, or whether Bertrand, in some 
amorous folly, divulged the secret histoiy of his own disgrace, we do 
not discover. Certain it is, that the only persons present were Philip 
and the prelate ; but the agreement of all historians as to what took 
place leaves little doubt regarding the facts. 



150 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

ecclesiastical censures, to grant ecclesiastical property to secu- 
lar purposes, was nothing very new or very alarming. To con- 
demn the memory of a defunct pope might, perhaps, form an 
unpleasant precedent, and shake the authority of the Church ; 
but it was a very different task from that of assailing, con- 
demning, and destroying an order which had been the bulwark 
of Christendom, the defense of the Holy Land, the favorite 
child of the Church for centuries. It implied falsehood, in- 
justice, oppression, cruelty, slaughter, murder. All this the 
new pope was called upon to sanction ; arid Philip might well 
reserve his explanation of the fifth dreadful condition till the 
mind of his bondman was familiarized with the contemplation 
by degrees. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 

A PRETEXT ? Where was the wicked man, armed with 
power, who ever wanted a pretext ? ;< Give me one line of a 
man's handwriting," said Richelieu, "and I will bring his 
head to the block." In an order, comprising some thousands, 
was not one traitor to be found ? or one coward ? or one weak 
and irresolute man ? Among the chaplains, or the serving 
brothers, could no one be wrought upon by fear, or pain, or 
cupidity ? Torture and death on the one side ; life and riches 
on the other : surely some one, out of many thousands, could 
be found to lie, and to confess, and to betray. 

The rules of the Temple were severe, burdensome to a de- 
gree, which could only be rendered tolerable by the sustaining 
power of enthusiasm. Some must have failed in the trial. 
Some must have yielded to temptation. Some must have 
bent under the load. It was known that some had been ex- 
pelled from the order; that some had been severely punished^ 
that some had been degraded and disgraced. 

It is probable that Philip anticipated no great difficulty in 
finding a pretext ! and the manner in which it was found is 
told in two ways, rightly, perhaps, in both instances. 

The cloud was seen before the lightning, however. Rumors 
were spread, which, in many instances, can be clearly traced 
to the French capital, accusing the brethren of the Temple of 
heresy, impiety, and many other crimes. These rumors burst 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 151 

upon Europe suddenly, soon after the elevation of Bertrand de ' 
Got to the chair of St. Peter. Good Heaven ! Bertrand de 
Got in the chair of St. Peter ! 

Previous to that time the regular clergy had grumbled, the 
non-fighting monks had complained, many a noble and many 
a sovereign had carped at and pillaged the order of the Tem- 
ple ; but the brethren were universally admitted to be gallant 
and devoted soldiers of Christ. Now, however, whispers were 
heard that they were in reality infidels, worse than the pagans 
against whom they had fought ; and the story soon assumed 
a tangible form. 

According to one version, a man of the name of Florian, a 
citizen of Beziers, who had been condemned for manifold ini- 
quities, made the first accusation. According to another, a 
Templar of the name of Florentine, who had been condemned 
by the grand preceptor of France to perpetual imprisonment 
for his crimes, made a confession of the heresies and wicked- 
ness of his order. The most probable account, however, is 
that given by a French author, who combines these two state- 
ments ; for, in regard to the first assertion, taken separately, 
we do not see how a common criminal of Bezier could acquire 
any information regarding the practices of the Templars ; and 
in regard to the second, it is impossible to suppose that the 
confession of a Templar, condemned by his own order to per- 
petual imprisonment, could reach the ears of the King of 
France ; for the Templars had jurisdiction and prisons of 
their own. 

The probable statement is this. Two criminals condemned 
for civil offenses, one a citizen of Beziers, another an apostate 
brother of the Temple, were confined in the same dungeon in 
Paris previous to execution. Confessors were not in those 
days allowed to ordinary criminals condemned to death ; and 
these two men related, or confessed, to each other their several 
crimes. The degraded Templar charged his order with a 
multitude of iniquities ; arid the citizen of Beziers (seeing a 
chance of safety in the revelation of the secret he possessed) 
announced to his jailers that he had most important disclos- 
ures to make regarding the Templars, and demanded to speak 
with the king in person. The two prisoners were consequent- 
ly brought before Philip, who listened to their tale. 

Here ends the statement abruptly ; and it is probable, the 
author might have added, with truth, that these persons were 
sought for, prompted, and promised life, on condition of serv- 
ing the purposes of the monarch. 



152 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

It is admitted on all hands, however, that the first charge 
against the Templars rested on the statement of one or two 
condemned criminals. When this statement was made, we 
do not exactly know ; but it would appear that Philip -and 
Clement diligently labored to get the grand master, James de 
Molay, into their power, before they suffered their intentions 
against the order to become apparent. It must not be sup- 
posed, indeed, that even Bertrand de Got felt no reluctance to 
comply with the cruel mandate of the French king. To him 
was first made known the charges against the Templars ; and 
he replied at once, that he could not believe them, that they 
were " incredible, impossible, and unheard of."* 

Philip, however, called for the execution of his bond. In 
June, 1306, Clement invited the grand masters of the Temple 
and the Hospital to join him in France, without delay, with 
as much secrecy, and as small a retinue as possible, in order 
to concert with him measures for the recovery of the Holy 
Land. The grand master of the Hospital was wise, and re- 
fused to come. The grand master of the Temple was simple 
and unsuspicious. He was at this time in Cyprus ; and he set 
out at once, with sixty knights, to confer with the pope. He 
brought with him a considerable amount of treasure, which 
he deposited at the Temple House in Paris, in the beginning 
of the year 1307, and, after a friendly and familiar interview 
with the King of France, proceeded to Poitiers, where the pope 
at that time resided. He was there amused for some time 
with proposals very different from those which he had expect- 
ed. Some mention was made, indeed, of a new expedition to 
the Holy Land ; but the principal object which the pope ap- 
peared to have in view, was to effect a union between the 
orders of the Temple and the Hospital. The discussions on 
this subject were long. James de Molay refused to sanction 
the union, declaring that the charge of dissensions between 
the two great military orders was false, and that no jealousy 
existed between them, except that rivalry which was neces- 
sary to produce a salutary spirit of emulation. 

In the mean time, the King of France was secretly taking 
his measures for the final catastrophe. A French historian 
says, that he feared the order of the Temple, knowing how 
unpopular he was in his own kingdom. 

" To attempt to reform an armed body, and to warn it by 

* " Ad credendum quae tune dicebantur, cum quasi incredibilia et 
impossibilia viderentur, nostrum aniuium vix potuiraus applicare. quia 
tamen plura incredibilia et inauditur," &c. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 153 

public reproaches," says the author, :< was to suggest to it to 
take measures "which might have consequences dangerous to 
the tranquillity of the kingdom and the security of the king 
himself. Policy required that it should be taken by surprise ; 
and policy was attended to." 

Secret letters were written on the 14th of September, 1307, 
to the king's officers in all the provinces of France, charging 
the Templars with the most atrocious crimes, with crimes so 
monstrous and absurd as to refute the accusation, among which 
were prominent, heresy, idolatry, sorcery, the renunciation of 
the Christian religion, and mockery of the cross of Christ. 

Two hundred and thirty knights of the Temple stood as 
prisoners before Saladin, by the shores of the Lake of Tiberias. 
One word spoken in acknowledgment of the false prophet, one 
renunciation of their faith in the Savior, would have saved 
their lives. But not a man was found to deny his Lord ; and 
each died as he had lived, a Christian knight. From that 
hour nearly to the hour at which the charge was brought, 
generations of the same dauntless warriors had moistened the 
soil of Palestine with their blood. They had maintained to 
the last the breach at Acre. When all fled, the bosom? of the 
Red Cross knights made ramparts in the streets. They had 
defended the towers of the Temple to the last. They had 
again entered Jerusalem triumphant, and had prayed to God 
upon the heights of Mount Sion. Hundreds of them had died 
in the Island of Aradus. Since the commencement of the 
century, for the faith of Christ, many had perished in bonds, 
as well as in the field ; but there was hardly an authentic in- 
stance known of a Templar having renounced his faith to 
save himself from death or slavery. Only three short years 
before, the King of France himself had lauded their works of 
piety and charity, their magnificent liberality, and their noble 
courage ; and it was against these men that Philip the False 
Money-maker brought the charge of idolatrous apostasy. It 
was not a charge against one, but against all. It was not a 
charge of sudden dereliction, but of habitual, long-continued, 
systematic apostasy. The renunciation of Christ, he said, was 
the rule of the order. 

But to return to his letters. He commanded his officers in 
the provinces to make preparations secretly, to seize upon all 
the Templars, their houses and property, and then to hand 
the brethren over to examination by torture if it should be 
tiecessary. 

Before the latter measure was to be employed, it seemed 
G 2 



154 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

needful to inform the unhappy Templars of what they were 
expected to confess under the torture ; otherwise, in the igno- 
rance of their crime, they might make some mistake in its ac- 
knowledgment. The seneschals and others were, therefore, 
directed to acquaint them, before proceeding to examination, 
that the king and the pope had been convinced, by irreproach- 
able testimony, of the crimes specified in the letter. The offi- 
cers were, moreover, ordered " to promise them pardon and 
favor, if they confessed the truth, and if not, to acquaint them 
that they would be condemned to death." 

The king's commands were executed. On the night of 
Friday, the 13th of October, 1307, every Temple House was 
seized throughout the realm of France, and all the knights 
and serving brothers made prisoners. 

En eel ail qu'ai dist orendroit, 
Je ne sai a tort ou a droit, 
Furent li templiers, sans doutance, 
Tons pris par le royaume de France 
Ou mois d Octembre, ou point du jour 
A un vendredi, i'ut le jour. 

Thus does old Godefroy of Paris tell the tale ; and the 
king's secret must have been well kept, for it does not appear 
that there was suspicion, preparation, or resistance any where. 

The moment the first act was successfully accomplished, 
and the gallant knights, of whom there were at that time fif- 
teen thousand, we are assured, in the preceptories of Europe, 
the mask was thrown off, and the charges made public to the 
world at large. Philip had, a few days before, communicated 
them by letter to several neighboring monarchs, in the hope 
of inducing others to follow his example, and work the over- 
throw of the whole order throughout Europe at once ; but the 
charges were so wild, so improbable, so incredible, that men 
required time to think ere they even affected to believe them. 
Even Edward the Second, the weak king of England, son-in- 
law to the French king, refused, at first, to give credit to the 
tale. In Germany and Spain, the noble order was acquitted 
of all guilt ; and the people of Cyprus bore honorable testi- 
mony to the conduct of the Templars among them. In Ita- 
ly, Sicily, and France, the persecution raged ; and his own 
need of gold, the cupidity of his followers, and the bold in- 
junctions of the pope, speedily extinguished the short-lived 
sense of justice in the breast of Edward of England. It is, 
however, upon France that our eyes must remain fixed, for 
there the horrible conspiracy was formed, and its great objects 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 155 

executed. Every step in the whole proceedings of Philip arid 
Clement reveals the iniquity of their motives arid the base- 
ness of their object. Preaching friars were specially appoint- 
ed to declaim against the order of the Temple in the public 
places of Paris, at the corners of streets, and in the royal gar- 
dens ; and the charges made against the knights in these ser- 
mons would have shocked the common sense of any enlight- 
ened period. But this was an age of the most gross and 
debasing superstition, when the idlest tales and the wildest 
fancies, the most impudent quackery and most barefaced im- 
posture found ready credence with the lower, the middle, and 
many of the higher classes. 

Let us look into these charges, both those which were form- 
ally embodied in the act of accusation and those which were 
diligently urged by the agents of a false and perfidious king. 
Some, indeed, we must pass over in silence, for they are too 
foul to appear upon a page intended for the sight of all. It 
is well for innocence to remain unconscious of much that the 
heart of the wicked can conceive. The Templars were ac- 
cused then, publicly, of denying Christ^ of worshiping, in a 
dark cave, an idol, in the figure of a man covered with an 
old human skin and having two bright and lustrous carbun- 
cles for eyes ; of anointing it with the fat of young children, 
roasted ; of looking upon it as their sovereign God, and trust- 
ing in it for prosperity and success. They were accused, also, 
of worshiping the devil, in the form of a cat ; of burning the 
bodies of dead Templars, and giving the ashes to the younger 
brethren to eat and drink mingled with their food. They 
were charged with various unnatural crimes, frightful de- 
baucheries and superstitious abominations, only to be credited 
upon the supposition that the whole order was insane. More- 
over, it was distinctly charged against them that, at their re- 
ception into the order, or as soon as possible afterward, they 
were compelled, besides denying Christ, the Virgin, and the 
saints, to spit and trample upon the cross, and to gird them- 
selves with, and wear continually, little cords which had 
touched the heads of their idols, of which they had many, be- 
sides the one already named ; and, moreover, that they be- 
lieved the grand master, the visitor, and the preceptor could 
absolve them from their sins. 

Such is an abstract of the accusation. It is not to be 
doubted, indeed, that if the charges had been, in the first in- 
stance, submitted to Bertrand de Got, that politic and cun- 
ning prelate would have perceived that the extravagance of 



156 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the accusation was sufficient for its refutation, and would have 
so modified it as to render it more consonant with common 
sense. It is probable, therefore, that Philip, who was utterly 
careless of any disgrace attending the means, so that his object 
was attained, hurried on, without consulting the pope on the 
minor details. Clement endeavored, as far as possible, to 
remedy these errors. He saw that it was a great mistake to 
assert that the Templars had been long addicted to such prac- 
tices ; that no one would believe a body of men who had 
submitted to all privations, encountered all dangers, and un- 
dergone every sort of death in the assertion of the Christian 
faith, were themselves infidels and idolaters ; that it would 
have been much more politic to accuse them of having devia- 
ted of late into infidelity ; and he endeavored skillfully to put 
forth this view of the case, and to withdraw attention from 
the fact that the order of the Temple was actually charged 
with having long been the most corrupt, faithless, heretical, 
and idolatrous body on the face of the earth, and of celebra- 
ting in full assembly, mysteries, the abominations of which 
exceeded all parallel. Thus, in a letter to Edward, king of 
England, and in a bull to the English bishops, he boldly ad- 
mits the former zeal and orthodoxy of the Templars, and de- 
clares that the well-known history of their sufferings and 
exertions under the cross in olden times had prevented him, 
at first, from believing the reports, which had reached him 
even before his election, of the apostasy and licentiousness of 
the order. Now, however, he commanded a strict examina- 
tion to be made ; implying that the King of France had laid 
before him proofs which had removed every doubt from his 
mind. 

Some symptoms very soon appeared of the pope and the 
kings, who were leagued together for the destruction of the 
order of the Temple, quarreling about the division of the 
spoil. Philip and Edward seized all the property, estates, 
money, arid jewels of the Templars ; and Clement became 
alarmed lest he should not obtain his due proportion. He 
wrote to both sovereigns, commanding them to place the vast 
wealth of the order at the disposition of the Church, and hold- 
ing out a very intelligible threat of thwarting their proceed- 
ings in case of disobedience. But kings can grasp tight as 
well as popes ; and both monarchs answered in a bold and 
contumacious manner. It is probable, however, that some 
concessions were made to the pontiff or some promises given, 
in order to avert his inconvenient opposition ; but avarice is a 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 157 

very greedy passion ; and the pope, though he yielded, was 
not fully satisfied ; for we find him afterward asserting, in a 
plaintive tone, that he had got a very small share of the 
plunder. 

Philip, as I have shown, endeavored to draw from the 
Templars, or from some of them, by a promise of pardon, on 
the one hand, and a threat of death on the other, such an 
avowal of guilt as would justify his iniquity by their weak- 
ness. But every man remained firm, till something more 
terrible than menace was employed. Philip might not wish 
to destroy or to tear the bodies of the Templars, if he could 
attain his objects by other measures ; but he was not very 
patient ; and at the end of twelve, or, as some say, of only 
six days, during which he continued to use threats and prom- 
ises, he gave them up to the tender mercies of the Domini- 
cans, who were never known to fail when any act of mon- 
strous cruelty was to be performed. They had gone through 
a long apprenticeship to the trade of torture, and were perfect 
masters of the craft. Let us now turn to see how they exe- 
cuted their function in this instance. 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 

THE Temple House at Paris, whence had issued forth, like 
a glorious stream, a host of heroes to defend the Holy Land, 
was again crowded with gallant knights ; but they were no 
longer armed for the defense of the sepulcher. The sword 
was no longer drawn for the fight. The battle-horse bore 
them no more to the charge. Captives to their fellow-Chris- 
tians, in the power of enemies more pitiless than the Saracens, 
they lay in chains, each in his silent cell, loaded with base 
accusations, and expecting death. All their immense posses- 
sions were gone. Their wealth, the gift of pious and admir- 
ing friends, filled the coffers of a tyrant or swelled the purses 
of his minions ; and no one retained sufficient to pay even a 
hired advocate to plead his cause before the judges. The 
grand master of the Temple himself had not four sous to buy 
him bread ; and bread was often wanting, for no sort of tor- 
ture was forgotten. 



158 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Look into that dark cell, where lies, upon his miserable 
pallet, the form of an old man, with a long, white beard, and 
floating locks as pure as snow. He is an old brother of the 
order, of a princely race, with the blood of a long line of no- 
bles flowing in his veins. Sixty-five years have passed since 
his mother first held him with pride and delight in her arms. 
Watchful love hung over his cradle. Care and thought fos- 
tered and instructed his youth. Wealth, and honor, and dis- 
tinction were at his command. Every joy that the world 
could give was his. But he abandoned all to become a sol- 
dier of the cross ; and this is his reward. Forty-two years 
ago he was received into the order of the Temple at the city 
of Tyre ; , and in many a field his blood has moistened the 
sands of Palestine. He aided in storming Lilion. He was 
at the attack upon Ascalon. He was one of the first in Bi- 
san. He escaped, almost by a miracle, at the capture of Ces- 
area ; and he held the standard of the cross at the Pilgrim's 
Castle. At Safitza, and the Castle of the Kurds, he displayed 
his valor ; and he was one of the few who, after the walls 
were thrown down, and the citadel a heap of ashes, marched 
out of Beaufort, lance in the rest, and banner displayed with 
all the pageantry of war, in presence of the whole host of 
Bondocdar, compelled to grant an honorable capitulation to 
the unconquerable valor of the Temple. In many another 
field he has fought, and in the defense of many another place 
he has aided. The banner of the cross has never been dis- 
graced by any one act of a long life ; and this is his reward. 

They have kept him without food or drink for eight- and- 
forty hours ; they are condemning the old hero of the cross to 
die the death of a wolf. Lank hunger is upon him, gnawing 
his very entrails. He could tear his own flesh with his teeth. 
He has knocked and called in vain at the barred and bolted 
door ; and now he lies and gazes at it with a haggard eye, 
listening as the steps pass and repass, but they bring him no 
relief. This is one species of torture.* 

In a great hall where once the knights of the order were 
wont to assemble upon solemn occasions, to receive a new 
brother, to consult as to the means of succoring the Holy 
Land, or to judge a malefactor stretched upon a machine 
formed somewhat like a bed, but having movable joints and 

*- " Others, in a word, tormented and driven by the famine, with 
which they weru oppressed in prison, or compelled in a number of 
other manners," says the continuator of William of Nangis, speaking of 
the Templars, under the year 1307. 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 159 

various wheels and windlasses, lay a tall and powerful man 
of the middle age. His broad brow was knit with a stern 
and resolute frown ; but his eyes had the anguish of appre- 
hension in them ; and his teeth were firm set, as if to prevent 
any sound escaping from his lips. His ankles and his wrists 
were firmly fastened with cords to the beams of the machine ; 
and his body, too, was 'fixed with a hoop of iron. By his side 
stood the grand inquisitor, William of Paris. A number of 
Dominican monks were around. Near at hand was a surgeon 
with a vial and a cup ; but by the side of the machine stood 
two powerful men, in a lay habit, with their arms bare. 

" I exhort you, brother, in the name of God and the Holy 
Trinity," said the inquisitor, in a low, sweet voice, " to make 
confession of the truth, and save us the necessity of using 
means to force it from you." 

" I have said the truth," replied the Templar, firmly ; " and 
take notice, every one, that if, under your diabolical hands, I 
speak otherwise than I have spoken, I lie. These are my 
last words. Do your worst." 

There was a profound silence. The two strong men, bend- 
ing by the machine, lifted their eyes, and gazed earnestly on 
the face of the inquisitor. He spoke not, but made a little 
sign, waving his hand so slightly you could hardly perceive it. 
The men applied their whole force, and moved round the 
winch. There was a creaking sound, as of straining wood. 
The thick beams were forced apart. The joints in the wood- 
en frame separated. The limbs of the Templar were drawn 
slowly but forcibly from each other. You could hear the 
stout sinews crack. There was a deep groan. 

" Hold, hold !" said the surgeon, who had watched the tor- 
tured man's face. But the inquisitor made no sign. The 
strong men forced the wheels round ; and there was a shriek 
of direful agony. 

In the wide chimney of the refectory there was a great fire, 
logs piled up and blazing high ; and before it were two screens, 
covered with linen cloth. The fire had a cheerful light, blaz- 
ing and flashing over the stone walls, and the arches of the 
windows, and the great round columns. 

But what is that before the fire ? It is the good knight 
Bernard de Vado, stretched out upon an iron frame, pinioned 
with cords, and bound tightly down, so that his limbs can 
have no motion. The screens are so placed as to cover his 
face and body from the blaze of the fire ; but his naked feet 
are extended to the full heat, within a few inches of the bum- 



IfiO DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

ing logs. What are those incarnate devils doing, in their 
gowns of black and white, those Dominican fiends, bred to the 
art of torture 1 They are greasing the scorched soles, to pre- 
vent the flesh from being actually burned away. Vain are 
his cries, his groans, his shrieks. It i speech they want ; and 
he speaks not. They interpose one of the screens to moderate 
the heat, and then ask him, " Wilt thou confess now ?" 

He is silent : the Dominican moves his hand toward the 
screen again. 

"What must I confess? What must I confess?" cries 
the unhappy man ; and, with a smile, the soft Dominican in- 
structs him. 

In the interior of a small cell, one of the cells of the order, 
and on his own pallet-bed, is seen another knight, with a 
single figure seated quietly beside him. Is the poor Templar 
sick ? It must be so ; for see, the kind Dominican drops wa- 
ter from a cup upon his mouth. Now this is charity indeed ! 

Under the coarse rug that covers him, his body is bound 
down to the bed. He can move neither hand nor loot. Over 
his face is stretched a thick, wet cloth, through which he is 
forced to draw the breath of life ; and ever, as the fearful heat 
of his intense agony dries up the moisture, so that he can 
breathe more freely, the Dominican drops more water on the 
cloth, and renders every sigh a pang. See how convulsively 
his chest heaves. See how the fingers move in the struggle 
for air, now clinched, till the nails sink into the palms of his 
hands, now extended wide with every sinew starting out like 
a rope ; and now, faint and ill defined stains of crimson begin 
to mark the cloth over his face. It is the blood starting from 
his eyes and nostrils. 

But let us drop the curtain over the awful scene. There 
were more tortures ; and others too indecent and horrible to 
be mentioned ; but be ye sure, my friends, no torment was 
spared that human beings could inflict or suffer. Revenge 
may be more fiery and impetuous than any other passion. 
The evils wrought by ambition may be wide-spread and de- 
structive ; but avarice is the most coldly cruel of all the vices 
which afflict mankind. Thirty-six Templars died under the 
torture without having uttered one word which could crimin^ 
ate their order. Many more were crippled for life ; but it 
would appear that every one maintained the perfect innocence 
of the soldiers of the Temple, till forged letters were shown 
to them purporting to come from the hand of the grand mas- 
ter, and exhorting them to confess their guilt. If Jame? de 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 16* 

Molay yielded to anguish or to fear, who should resist ? Sucl 
was the argument which some of the Templars probably used 
toward themselves ; and seventy of the brethren confessed, 
under the torture, any thing that was dictated to them. 
Those who confessed were formally absolved ; but they were 
not yet set free ; and the inquisitors proceeded throughout 
France, accompanied by lay commissioners from the king, and 
in each of the preceptories of the order the system of murder 
and torture was renewed. 

These transactions were generally carried on in secret ; but 
the tongue of rumor could not be kept quiet ; and amaze- 
ment, horror, and alarm spread throughout Europe. The 
pope himself interfered with an affectation of humanity ; but 
his letter to the King of France savors strongly of avarice. 
It exposes more clearly a design to get the whole property of 
the Temple into the hands of the Church than a desire to 
save the Templars. 

Philip treated his tool with very little ceremony. He 
threatened and abused him ; but at the same time he feared 
impediments, and, suffered the pope to take the nominal con- 
duct of the trial, while he himself, in reality, directed the pro- 
ceedings. A commission was appointed by Clement to take 
cognizance of the whole affair ; and now a scene was enact- 
ed, little anticipated, either by the pontiff or the king. When 
the knights of the Temple appeared before the commissioners, 
in whose court greater publicity was assured to the prisoners 
than in the secret tribunals of the inquisition, those from 
whom confession had been extorted by the torture revoked all 
the admissions they had made, almost to a man maintained 
the entire innocence of the order, and warned all men that 
i^i at any future time, mortal infirmity should induce them to 
avow the guilt with which they were charged, to look upon 
such acknowledgments as false. 

They were denied all counsel or aid. No advocate was 
permitted to defend them. Their friends were terrified into 
inactivity, or punished for affording them assistance. The 
grand master, who had been confined at Corbeil, was brought 
before the commission in November, 1309, and with firm but 
decent boldness, James de Molay maintained his own inno- 
cence, and the falsehood of all the charges against the order. 
He said he was a plain, unlettered man, not instructed in 
the law, but ready to defend himself and his brethren against 
the infamous accusations brought against them as best he 
might. He showed that he had been stripped of every thing ; 



162 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

that he was dependent even for food upon charity ; and he 
demanded an advocate, undertaking, if his just request were 
granted, to make the innocence of the order apparent to all 
men, even to their enemies. 

To his amazement, a paper was produced by the commis- 
sioners, purporting to be a confession made by himself at 
Chinori, before certain cardinals, whose names were attached 
as witnesses. For a moment, De Molay was speechless with 
surprise, making three times the sign of the cross, as if some 
evil spirit had appeared before him. He then vehemently 
and solemnly protested that the confession was a forgery, and 
called upon God to inflict on the liars who had signed it the 
punishment assigned by the Saracens to willful slanderers. 
" Their bellies they rip open," he exclaimed, " and their heads 
they cut off!" 

Again and again he protested the innocence of himself and 
his companions, and pointed out how completely the whole 
public life of the Templars gave the lie to the charges against 
them. He showed that their churches bore every mark of 
devotion, that no body of men was more famous for alms-giv- 
ing, that none had ever so readily fought and bled in the as- 
sertion of the Christian religion ; and he ended with a simple 
Erofession of faith, with which even inquisitors could find no 
wit. 

The commissioners dared not excommunicate or put him to 
death ; for the pope had restricted them for the time, in his 
case, and in the cases of several of the preceptors of the order. 
Nay, more, the firm attitude and the convincing defense made 
by more than five hundred of the knights brought before the 
commissioners, seemed to move or to shame the papal officers 
into something like mercy. In a written defense drawn up 
on their part, by one of the brethren, they stated the horrible 
tortures to which they had been subjected ; they declared that 
many had died under the infliction, that all were injured ir- 
recoverably in health, and that many had been driven mad. 
They demanded that the jailers and executioners should be 
examined as to the dying moments of the Templars who had 
perished in the prison, maintaining that they had every one 
declared the innocence of their order when about to appear in 
the presence of God. 

Philip saw that the proceedings were taking a course un- 
favorable to his purposes ; and he hastened to withdraw the 
Templars from the hands of the commissioners, and to erect a 
new tribunal. He had lately thrust into the archbishopric 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 163 

of Sens a creature of his own, much against the views, it 
would appear, of the pope himself; and a provincial council 
was held by the archbishop in Paris, over which place his ec- 
clesiastical jurisdiction extended.^ To this council the Tem- 
plars were given up. In vain they protested. In vain they 
sought to appeal to the pope. In vain they demanded protec- 
tion of the papal commissioners. The archbishop was as rapid 
and as resolute as Philip could desire. They were dragged 
before this iniquitous tribunal ; and every one, without excep- 
tion, who had recanted his confession, was allowed the option 
of renewing it or dying at the stake. " All, however, without 
excepting a single one," says the monk of St. Denis, f " refused 
to the last to avow the crimes of which they were accused, and 
persisted with constancy and firmness in a general denial, 
ceasing not to declare that they were given up to death un- 
justly and without cause." 

Fifty-nine, or, according to some, fifty-four gallant knights 
were led forth, in one day, to the fields at the back of the nun- 
nery of St. Antoine, where stakes had been driven into the 
ground, and fagots and charcoal collected. The sight did 
not daunt them, and each was bound to the stake. The 
fagots were piled round them ; the torches of the execution- 
ers lighted ; and they were o tiered pardon if they would again 
confess. They refused to a man, arid were burned to death 
by slow fires, calling upon the holy name of God in the midst 
of their torments. 

In other parts of France the same horrible scenes were 
transacted. At Senlis, nine were burned, and many more in 
other places. But the grand master and several other distin- 
guished men were still detained in prison. The few who had 
made confession of any part of the charge were set at liberty. 
Those who denied the whole were condemned to perpetual 
imprisonment. It is to be remarked that many escaped by 
acknowledging an offense of no very heinous kind. One of 
the charges against them, as I have shown, was simply this, 
that they believed the grand master and the visitor, although 
laymen, could absolve them from their sins. Many acknowl- 
edged this belief, which was pronounced heretical ; and the 
confession was judged sufficient to merit absolution, though it 

* There is some difficulty upon this point, for the continuator of Will- 
iam of Nangis says that the council was held by permission of the Arch- 
bishop of Paris ; but the question is not of sufficient importance to be 
discussed in this place. 

t A cotemporary who continued the chronicle of William of Nangis. 



164 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

would appear that this simple acknowledgment was used by 
the enemies of the order as if it had been an admission of the 
whole accusation. Even this heretical belief, however, was 
so explained by many of the Templars as to leave it no taint 
of heresy at all, for they stated that it only implied that the 
grand master and visitor could absolve from offenses against 
the order, but not from offenses against God. All parties, 
however, were anxious to show that many of the Templars 
had confessed something, and had adhered to their confession, 
trusting that, by a very common error of the human mind, a 
part would be taken for the whole. 

Five long years and a half James de Molay remained in 
prison ; and his existence during the greater part of that period 
is involved in darkness ; but that he was more than once put 
to the torture is certain. What he did confess, or whether he 
did confess at all, in the torment^ which he suffered, can not 
be told ; and it would appear probable that the confession 
which he had already pronounced a forgery was that which 
was principally relied upon throughout. 

On the 18th of March, 1313, however, a scaffold was erect- 
ed in front of Notre Dame, and the people of Paris were sum- 
moned by the sound of trumpet, to hear the great officers of 
the Temple confess the guilt of their order, and justify the 
proceedings of the king. Their confession was said to have 
been made in the presence of the Archbishop of Sens, the Car- 
dinal Archbishop of Albano, and two other cardinal legates. 

A multitude assembled to witness the extraordinary cere- 
mony. The scaffold was crowded with guards and church- 
men ; and, at the appointed hour, the grand master, James de 
Molay, the grand preceptor of the order, the grand preceptor 
of Aquitaine, and the visitor general, were brought forward to 
the front of the scaffold loaded with chains. ^The Cardinal 
Bishop of Albano then proceeded to read aloud to the people 
the confession attributed to the Templars, and called upon 
the four knights to avow it. Two of them, the visitor gen- 
eral and the grand preceptor of Aquitaine, bowed the head 
and signified their assent. But the grand master himself pro- 
claimed aloud the falsehood of the confession, declaring that 
it was a sin, both in the sight of God and man, to proclaim a 
falsehood. 

" My guilt consists," he said, " in having, under the agony 
of the torture, admitted untruly horrible offenses against an 
order which has ever nobly served and defended Christendom." 

Guy, the grand preceptor, also boldly asserted the innocence 



THE LAST DAYS OF THE TEMPLARS. 165 

of the order, and was going on in vehement tones, when he 
was interrupted by the ecclesiastics, and hurried away by the 
provost of Paris and his guard. They were only delivered to 
this officer, we are assured by the cotemporary monk of St. 
Denis, to be safely guarded till the prelates could deliberate. 
But Philip the Fair was not inclined to suffer any further 
deliberation ; and he determined, " without speaking to the 
clergy, by a prudent decision, to give up the two Templars to 
the flames." 

That very evening two stakes were planted on a small 
island in the Seine, between the royal gardens and the Church 
of the Hermit Brethren ; and, just before nightfall, James de 
Molay, and Guy, the grand preceptor, were carried thither, 
attached to the stak, and a slow fire kindled round them. 

" They appeared," says the cotemporary monk, " to support 
the anguish with so much calmness and indifference, that their 
firmness and their last denials were matter of marvel and 
stupefaction to all the beholders." 

Thus perished the last grand master of the Templars, a vic- 
tim to one of the foulest conspiracies that can be found even 
in the annals of princes and pontiffs. The order was extin- 
guished. Its treasures had been plundered, much of its prop- 
erty assigned to royal or to papal favorites, and the remnant 
fell to the rival order of the Hospital, which did not, however, 
obtain it without gratifying, by large donations, those who had 
obtained possession of it by such barbarous and bloody means. 

We should not be so presumptuous as to pronounce in any 
case except where we can trace the distinct connection be- 
tween cause and effect, or where we are warranted by the 
Divine Word that very peculiar evils which we see fall 
upon our fellow-creatures are special punishments for the 
crimes which we believe them to have committed. It is, 
nevertheless, a fact which has been considered well worthy of 
remark by historians, that not one of all those who took a 
principal part in the barbarous cruelties exercised upon the 
Templars escaped an early and miserable end. 

Philip the Fair, king of France, died in the year 1314, in 
the forty-fifth year of his age, of a lingering disease unknown 
to any of the physicians of the time, and his last hours were 
embittered by the revolt of his subjects, the treason of his nobles, 
the failure of his measures, and the domestic misery of his 
children. One of the last acts of his reign was the flaying 
alive of two knights, Walter and Philip d' Aunay, for adultery 
committed with his two daughters-in-law. His armies retired 



166 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

unsuccessful from Flanders, and his people were in insurrection 
in many parts of his dominions. He died one year eight 
months and eleven days after James de Molay. 

Bertraud de Got survived the grand master even a shorter 
time. After a troublous and bloody pontificate of less than 
nine years, during which he had been constantly obliged to 
humble the tiara to the will of theKing of France, through- 
out which his sole aim had been to amass treasure which he 
could not enjoy, and to perpetuate enjoyments disgraceful to 
his age, his profession, and his office, he was suddenly attack- 
ed with illness at Avignon, in the midst of the festivities of 
Easter, and was swept away by death, on the twentieth of 
April, 1314, one year and one month after the consummation 
of the ruin of the Templars. His body was carried to Car- 
pentras, where a number of the cardinals had assembled ; but 
while the corpse of the infamous prelate lay in the church, 
furious dissensions arose regarding the choice of a successor, 
and the palace and town were fired, it is said, by his own 
nephew. The palace and the church were burned ; the body 
of Clement was partially consumed by the flames ; and his 
ill-gotten treasures were piDaged and squandered by brigands 
and relations. 

Edward the Second was deposed by a son and a wife, and 
died or was murdered in prison ; and Enguerand de Marigny, 
who is supposed to have prompted and conducted most of the 
iniquitous acts of Philip the Fair, and who had, in the words 
of the monk of St. Dennis, " become more, so to say, than 
Mayor of the Palace," was hanged, in 1315, upon the gibbet 
of the common robbers. 

Thus perished the order of the Temple ; and thus perished 
those who had persecuted it. 



THE ALB1GENSES. 167 



THE ALBtGENSES, 



FRANCE. 



CHAPTER I. , 

THE abominations and the tyranny of the Church of Rome, 
the horrible vices of the clergy, and the dissensions which ex- 
isted between them and the monastic orders, had roused in- 
dignation in the minds of many long before the commence- 
ment of the thirteenth century. Sometimes this indignation 
was salutary, sometimes the reverse. It has been wisely ob- 
served, that " often the worst evil of bad government is not in 
its action, but its counteraction." The same is the case with 
every evil springing from the corruption of institutions. Men 
always do more than redress. 

The wealth, power, and influence of the clergy excited envy. 
Their interference in many secular affairs irritated ; their ex- 
actions alarmed ; their superstitions offended ; and their vices 
disgusted. Many wise and good men, perceiving the errors 
of the ministers, but not the flaws in the institution, severely 
criticised the lives and doctrines of bishops, priests, and cardi- 
nals, without attacking the Church. Others, more bold, went 
further still, and assailed the whole system which produced 
and sheltered such men and such conduct. Others, more fool- 
ish, attacked the religion itself which these men professed to 
teach and yet kept in darkness. They struck at the Savior 
himself, because he was presented to them in disguise. Few 
had the means of judging of religion by itself, because it was 
so overlaid" with superstitions that they could not distinguish 
it. Few had the knowledge requisite ; and it is not, there- 
fore, to be wondered at that heresies arose amid fruitless at- 
tempts at reformation, and that in casting off foul superstition 
many cast off pure faith. 

In the hilly districts lying at the foot of the Pyrenean 
Mountains, on those mountains themselves, and in the valleys 
which intersect them, arose, at the end of the twelfth and the 



168 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

beginning of the thirteenth century, a sect, called Albigenses, 
from the name of a small town in higher Languedoc, where 
some of their principal convocations were held, and whence 
many of their doctrines spread to the surrounding country. 
There would seem but little doubt that the schism originated 
\n disgust at the superstitions and vices of the Roman Church, 
and that the doctrines of the first teachers of the sect were 
pure and scriptural ; but there would appear as little doubt 
that, after a time, some few of the members of a body, which 
became large, were tainted by the Manichaean heresy. The 
question is a difficult one, as to how far these errors had gone ; 
for religious fanaticism, party zeal, personal ambition, gross 
avarice, virulent revenge, and almost every evil passion of 
human nature, were called into action during the course of a 
long war ; arid every one brought its portion of falsehood to 
blacken and obscure the page of history. 

The writers who have advocated the cause of the Albi- 
genses, represent them as a perfectly pure and highly religious 
body of men. Those who have written against them, and it 
is from them, let us remark, that our principal accounts are 
derived, attribute to them every crime and every error that 
can disgrace humanity. The most moderate, perhaps, in his 
statements is William of Nangis, the monk of St. Denis, who 
accuses them of rejecting the supremacy and the decisions of 
the Church of Rome, avoiding all bodies of Christians in 
communion with that Church, denying or perverting the arti- 
cles of faith, blaspheming against all religion, all worship, and 
all religious order, and against the piety of the Catholic Church, 
condemning all the human race except themselves and their 
conventicles, and turning the Church of the Catholics into 
ridicule. Through this charge we may, perhaps, see the spir- 
it of the Roman Catholic monk, exaggerating the offenses of 
those who rejected the errors and superstitions of the Church 
of Rome. But others go much further ; and the fiery Peter 
of Vaulx Cernay declares that the heretics of the higher Lan- 
guedoc acknowledged two Gods, the benevolent and the ma- 
levolent deity, that they attributed the Old Testament to the 
second, and rejected it accordingly. Many other errors of the 
same kind he charges against the Albigenses ; but he suffers 
to appear that the principal points of opposition to the Church 
of Rome, put forth by those whom he calls heretics, were the 
dogmas of that Church regarding transubstantiation, baptism, 
and the worship of images ; and he clearly shows that there 
were various different sects among this people, some of whom 



, THEALBIGENSES. 169 

greatly exaggerated the doctrines maintained by others. Many 
of his accusations are so absurd as to be incredible. 

The papal throne, at the time when attention was first 
called to the opinions of the Albigenses, was occupied by In- 
nocent III., a man of considerable ability, but violent, unre- 
lenting, and of unconquerable resolution. The King of France 
was the well-known Philip II., called Augustus ; and the 
territories principally pervaded by the doctrines of the Albi- 
genses were in the possession of various princely nobles, nomi- 
nally vassals of the crown of France, but almost independent 
of that crown, the principal of whom was Raymond VI., 
count of Toulouse, nearly related to the King of France, who 
undoubtedly coveted his territories, or at least desired a more 
complete and perfect domination therein. The Viscount of 
Beziers and the Count of Foix also deserve notice, both from 
the extent of their possessions arid the part they acted in the 
war which followed. The Count of Toulouse had married, 
in the first instance, Beatrice, sister of the Viscount of Be- 
ziers ;* secondly, a daughter of the King of Cyprus ; thirdly, 
Joan, queen of Sicily, sister of Richard Coeur-de-Leon. He 
was thus connected by marriage both with the Plaritagenet 
monarchs of England, and with Otho, emperor of Germany, 
his wife's nephew, as he was also by birth with Philip Au- 
gustus, by his mother Constance, daughter of Louis the Fat. 
Joan of Sicily died in 1 199, a very short time after her brother 
Richard ; and Raymond, in the following year, entered into 
a fourth marriage with Eleanor, sister of Peter, king of Ar- 
agon, another royal alliance which was highly serviceable to 
him in the end. 

Whether the Count of Toulouse had really embraced the 
doctrines of the Albigenses or not, certain it is that he showed 
them favor, and gave them protection ; but this in itself was 
a crime in the eyes of the Church of Rome. The Arian 
heresy had always found favor in the territories of the Count 
of Toulouse ; and it would seem that the conduct of the Ro- 
man Catholic bishops of his capital city had not done much 
to check the course of error; for Raymond of Rabastens, 
bishop in 1201, was notorious for simony and other vices, for 
which, in the end, he was condemned and deposed. 

After a long series of disputes with Philip Augustus, after 
having placed the whole of France under interdict, and forced 

* He is said to have been previously married to Ermesinda de Pelet, 
but of this fact I am not quite sure, nor do I find any record of this 
lady's fate. 

H 



170 DAEK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

even its great and politic monarch to bow before the power 01 
the Church, Innocent III. turned his attention to the heresy 
of Languedoc, and at different times sent many distinguished 
churchmen to endeavor, by milder means than might have 
been expected from his character, to bring the people back to 
the bosom of the Romish Church. The chief of these mis- 
sionaries, it would appear, was Arnaud, abbot of Citeaux, who 
set out from Rome accompanied by several other monks and 
clergymen, among whom was Peter of Castelnau, also a Ber- 
nardine monk of Citeaux, whom we find distinguished with 
the title of legate, as well as Arnaud himself and the brother 
Ralph, a third monk of the same order. 

It would appear that the preaching of these reverend fa- 
thers was very nearly in vain ; for though we find that they 
disputed in many places with the leaders of the sect, we are 
assured that they had done little or nothing for the conversion 
of the Albigenses previous to the year 1206. In that year, 
however, two new and zealous preachers were added to their 
number. Diego Azebes, bishop of Osma, or Uxarna, in Old 
Castile, entertained the desire of resigning his bishopric, and 
proceeding to the Holy Land to preach the Gospel to the in- 
fidel. He accordingly set out for Rome, to lay his miter at 
the feet of the pope. But Innocent III. would not accede to 
his wishes, and, telling him that his services were still want- 
ed at his post, sent him back to his diocese. As he returned 
from Rome, he met, in the neighborhood of Montpellier, the 
Abbot of Citeaux and his two companions, who, disgusted 
with their want of success, were about to give up their mission. 

"Wherever they had attempted to preach," says Peter of 
Vaulx Cernay, " the heretics had objected to them the veiy 
wicked conduct of the clergy, adding, that if they would not 
mend their manners, they ought to abstain from preaching ;" 
a curious admission from so furious a Romanist. In this con- 
versation with the Bishop of Osma upon the circumstances in 
which they were placed, that prelate suggested to the leg- 
ates a new line of conduct. He proposed that they should 
go among the Albigenses in a more modest and humble guise, 
that they should dismiss their numerous train and splendid 
equipage, and on foot, in all humility, teach the Word of God 
in the apostolic manner. The legates, it would seem, hesi- 
tated, alleging that this was a novelty which they could not 
undertake, unless somebody of greater dignity set the exam- 
ple. The good Bishop of Osma at once offered to do so ; and 
sending the whole of his train into Spain, he set out upon his. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 171 

mission with only one companion, a Spanish recluse of the 
name of Dominic, a gentleman of noble and ancient family in 
the diocese of Osma, who had been his faithful companion* in 
many previous journeys. It was now about the middle of the 
year 1206, and, accompanied by the two legates, Pierre de 
Castelnau and brother Ralph of Citeaux, the bishop and his 
Spanish companion, afterward the famous St. Dominic, went 
on to Montpellier, while the abbot returned to his abbey, in 
the marshes near the town of Nuits, in order to hold a gen- 
eral chapter of the order. 

I need not trace the proceedings of these zealous men, who 
went from castle to castle and town to town, preaching to the 
Albigenses, and disputing publicly with their teachers. Suf- 
fice it to say, that, notwithstanding the assertions of some of 
the Roman Catholic chroniclers, they seem to have met with 
very little success. t At the town of Beziers, however, the 
Bishop of Osma found it necessary to advise Peter of Castel- 
nau to leave him for a time, as it would appear that legate's 
violence had greatly irritated the people of the place, and liis 
life was in danger. Although there can be no doubt that few 
men ever were commissioned to convert heretics who had a 
stronger inclination to use the most vigorous measures against 
them than St. Dominic himself, it would seem that either the 
authority and example of the Bishop of Osma acted as a re- 
straint upon the virulence of the saint, or that Peter of Castel- 
nau greatly exceeded the latter in energy ; for we find that, 
in the year 1207, before a recourse to arms, fire, or torture 
had been thought of by others, he entertained the design of 
extirpating the heretics of the Narbonnoise, and sought the 
aid of the nobles of the country in executing his purpose. He 
was opposed by the unfortunate Count of Toulouse, who was 
not inclined to see his subjects slaughtered for their opinions ; 
and the insolent monk lost all sense of decency and modera 
tion, abused the prince in terms the most outrageous, and pro- 
ceeded formally to excommunicate him, because he would not 
make peace, on terms dictated to him, with men who had 
shown themselves his inveterate enemies, and who were now 

* Echard. Trivet. 

t The Roman Catholic chroniclers contradict themselves continually. 
Peter of Vaulx Cernay declares, in one part of his history, that the leg 
ates converted all the people but a few at Carmaing, confounded the 
heretic teachers in half a dozen places, brought over all the lower or- 
ders at Pamiers; and then, a little further on, he admits that all their 
labors were of slender or no utility 



172 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

leagued with the legate for the extermination of the Wal- 
denses. 

The temporary loss of the fiery assistance of Pierre de Cas- 
telnau was more than compensated to the Bishop of Osma and 
his two companions, Ralph and Dominic, by the arrival in 
Upper Languedoc of Arnaud, abbot of Citeaux, and twelve 
other Bernardine abbots, who spread themselves over the coun- 
try, preaching and disputing with all their might. The bish- 
op then retired for a time to his diocese in Castile, intending 
to return in the following spring to the field of his labors ; but 
he was seized with illness in February, 1208, and died in 
Spain. The legate Ralph had preceded him to the tomb ; 
twelve of the abbots returned to their monasteries at the end 
of three months, and only one remained, namely, the Abbot 
of Vaulx Cernay. 

St. Dominic, on the departure of the Bishop of Osma, be- 
took himself to the small town of Fanjaux, founded the Ab- 
bey of Prouille toward the end of the year 1207, and insti- 
tuted the order of the preaching Friars, known as Dominicans 
or Jacobins. 

Peter of Castelnau, in the mean time, after having visited 
his colleagues at Montreal, returned to the banks of the Rhone, 
where he spent some months in endeavoring to convert the 
Waldenses, and in thundering forth denunciations against the 
Count of Toulouse. But that prince at length summoned the 
Abbot of Citeaux and Peter of Castelnau to confer with him 
at the town of St. Giles, with the evident intention of seeking 
some means of accommodation. It is admitted, even by In- 
nocent III., in his famous letter, that the count at first re- 
ceived the legate with reverence and courtesy ; but violent 
disputes (at least so asserts the pontiff) soon arose between the 
prince and the fierce and vindictive monk. It is probable 
that the legate's demands and his manner were extravagant 
and overbearing ; and it is certain that he strove to exact 
what Raymond of Toulouse indignantly refused to grant. 
The pope declares that the count, in his fury, menaced both 
the legates with death ; and it is not at all unlikely that his 
language was threatening and violent. 

Arnaud and Peter of Castelnau broke up the conference, 
each party more irritated with the other than before the in- 
terview ; and, on the following day, Peter of Castelnau was 
killed by a gentleman attached to the Count of Toulouse. 

Nothing can be more different than the history of this mur- 
der as told by Innocent, and the account of the anonymous 



THE ALB I GENS ES. 173 

monk who composed the history of the war of the Albigenses, 
published by Don Vaissette. The pope, who rarely scrupled 
to accuse the objects of his wrath of all sorts of crimes, insin- 
uates, though he does not assert, that Raymond of Toulouse 
commanded the murder to be committed. The historian, on 
the contrary, though strongly Catholic, and opposed to the 
Albigenses, tells, with apparent simplicity and good faith, a 
very different story. His account is as follows : 

" When the legate had sojourned certain days at St. Giles, 
it happened that Peter of Castelnau, above named, had some 
words and dispute upon the subject of the said heresy with a 
gentleman of Count Raymond's ; and the dispute went so far 
that, in the end, the said gentleman, the servant of Count 
Raymond, ran Peter of Castelnau through the body with a 
sword, and killed him, and made him die, which event and 
murder was cause of a great evil, as we will tell hereafter. 
Peter of Castelnau was buried at the cemetery of St. Giles ; 
and the legate, as well as all his company, was very much 
grieved and enraged at this murder and homicide. However, 
history tells us that, when the gentleman had committed the 
said murder, he fled to Beaucaire, to his friends and relations ; 
for if Count Raymond could have got him, he would have 
made of him such an example of justice and punishment that 
the legate would have been content ; for the said Count Ray- 
mond was so enraged and grieved at this murder having been 
committed by a man of his, that never was he so enraged at 
any thing in the world." 

Every action of Raymond, however, was misinterpreted by 
the legates and by the pope ; and the extravagance of the 
charges which they bring against him, as well as the violence 
of the language used, arid the evident concealments practiced 
by the principal Roman Catholic historian of the crusade, 
Peter of Vaulx Cernay, throw great suspicion upon all their 
statements. It was from the Abbot of Citeaux, and the monks 
who accompanied him, that Innocent received a partial and 
distorted account of the death of Peter of Castelnau ; and the 
violent and domineering pontiff, who, in the course of his reign, 
fulminated no less than four interdicts against four different 
countries, at once had recourse to the most violent measures, 
and, aflecting to look upon the heretics of Albi as infinitely 
worse than the Mohammedans of Spain and Syria, he ordered 
a crusade to be preached against the unfortunate people of the 
Toulousaine. Moreover, boldly announcing the horrible doc- 
trine that no faith is to be kept with heretics, he declared the 



174 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

territories of the count forfeited, absolved his subjects and vas- 
sals from their oaths of fidelity and homage, and called upon 
all who might desire to enrich themselves at the expense of 
a neighbor to rush into Languedoc and Provence, and seize, 
pillage, and keep the lands and lordships of Raymond of Tou- 
louse. 

This Christian prelate was, perhaps, right in looking upon 
the doctrines of the Albigerises, not, indeed, as more opposed to 
the Christian religion, but as more dangerous to the See of 
Rome than the tenets of the Koran ; for we find that those 
doctrines, as stated by William of Puy-Laurens, in describing 
a dispute between the legates and the heresiarchs, were very 
much the same as those which were put forth by the Reform- 
ers, who afterward shook the fabric of the papal power to its 
foundation. It appears that, in the dispute at St. Real, Ar- 
nold of Otho, one of the teachers of the Albigenses, called the 
Romish Church and its doctrines " the church of the devil 
and the doctrines of demons;" proclaimed aloud that it was 
that Babylon mentioned in the Apocalypse as the mother of 
fornications and abominations ; asserted that its ordination was 
neither good nor holy, nor established by the Lord Jesus ; and' 
contended that neither Christ nor the apostles had ever insti- 
tuted the mass, as it .was used in the Romish Church. 

These were the doctrines publicly put forth by the ministers 
of the Albigenses, according to one of the least partial of the 
Romish historians ; but, even from this statement, it can bo 
easily understood why Innocent should determine upon exterm- 
inating so dangerous a sect by fire and sword. 

No sooner had the Abbot of Citeaux received the letters of 
the pope, than he commenced the predication of the crusade, 
and summoned a great council to assemble at Aubenas, in the 
Vivarais. To all who took the cross was held out the induce- 
ment of complete absolution " for all their sins, from the day of 
their birth to the day of their death." To this was joined the 
expectation of pillage ; and as the people of Europe were 
somewhat fond of plunder, and not disinclined to sin, immense 
numbers took the cross, and set out well-armed for an expedi- 
tion which promised greater advantages and less dangers than 
a journey to the Holy Land. 

Each man engaged himself for forty days ; and though 
many stayed longer, many thought they had done enough 
when they had fulfilled the letter^ of the bond. 

Communications had taken place between the holy see and 
the King of France ; and Innocent exhorted Philip either to 



THE ALBIGENSES. 175 

march against the heretics himself, or to send his son. The 
French monarch, however, did not feel himself at all disposed 
to second the views of a fierce pontiff who had thwarted and 
humiliated him, and refused to take part in the war. He per- 
mitted, however, such of his subjects as thought fit to assume 
the cross to do so, and every day swelled the army of the cru- 
saders. To distinguish these fanatics from those who were 
engaged to fight in the Holy Land, the cross was placed on 
the breast instead of on the shoulder ; and a general rendez- 
vous was given at Lyons, whence they were to march through 
Provence, and sweep the whole country at the foot of the Pyren- 
ees, from the Rhone to the Garonne. 

Alarmed at these immense preparations, Raymond of Tou- 
louse, who had never professed himself of the sect of Albi- 
genses, set out with his nephew, the Count of Beziers, and a 
large and formidable train, to present himself before the coun- 
cil at Aubenas, and claim to be heard in his own justification. 
Either from fear, policy, or conviction, he seems to have been 
sincerely disposed to reconcile himself with the Church of 
Rome, and even to put down the sect of heretics or Reformers 
in his territories ; but the monks were not at all disposed to 
give him an opportunity of doing so. The council listened 
coldly to his remonstrance ; ' and, in reply to his demand, that 
his conduct should be investigated, and his guilt or innocence 
established before any violent proceedings were taken against 
him, the legate refused to institute any inquiry, and referred 
him to Rome. 

Thus rejected, the count and his nephew retired from the 
council, and set out for the town of Aries. As they went, they 
consulted what was to be done. The fiery Viscount of Beziers 
proposed to oppose force by force, seeing that they had nothing 
to hope from submission ; but the Count of Toulouse, aware 
of the overwhelming number of the crusaders, determined to 
exhaust every means of conciliation before he had recourse to 
arms. A violent dispute ensued between uncle and nephew ; 
and the latter, separating himself from the count, began the 
war by ravaging the territories of his relation. 

In the mean time Raymond reached Aries, and summoned 
to council four of his personal friends, the Archbishop of Auch, 
the Prior of the Hospital, the Abbot of Condom, and the Lord 
of Rabestans. At his earnest entreaty, they agreed to set out 
for Rome and negotiate his reconciliation with the pope, while 
he remained at Aries, waiting impatiently for their return. 
Their mission was successful, though the conditions imposed 



176 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

upon the count were very hard. Innocent agreed, by treaty, 
to receive Raymond into the bosom of the Church, as soon as 
he should have proved his innocence of the murder of Peter of 
Castelnau, upon the condition that he should, in the mean 
time, as security, give up to the Church seven of his largest 
and strongest castles. To these terms the count's envoys 
agreed : the treaty was drawn up and signed ; an act of ab- 
solution was expedited by the holy see ; and the envoys re- 
turned to the count, accompanied by two commissioners on the 
part of the pope, named Milo and Theodise, instructed to re- 
ceive and hold the castles which were to be surrendered. 

Hard as these terms were, Raymond received the envoys 
joyfully, and agreed to fulfill the conditions ; but, if we are to 
believe even Peter of Vaulx Cernay, the legate Milo had se- 
cret and deceitful instructions from the pope to act entirely 
under the directions of the Abbot of Citeaux, against whom 
Raymond had already brought a charge of injustice and ma- 
levolence ; and, besides the seven castles, the surrender of 
which had been agreed upon, Milo and Theodise, by the ad- 
vice of the abbot and others, now demanded that the consuls 
of the towns of Nismes, Avignon, and St. Giles should swear 
that, if their lord the count refused to perform any of the com- 
mands of the legate, they would hold themselves free from 
their oath of homage toward him. 

To this, also, the count consented ; and the castles were 
given up into the hands of Theodise. The next act was, the 
public penance and reconciliation of the count with the Church. 
This was performed, apparently, in the beginning of the year 
1209, in the great Church of St. Giles ; and there can be no 
doubt that before it took place, Raymond had exculpated him- 
self, to the satisfaction of the legate, from all share in the 
death of Peter of Castlenau ; for that was the, distinct condi- 
tion upon which the pope's promise of absolution had been 
made. It must be remembered that, before the death of that 
personage, Raymond had been excommunicated for other of- 
fenses ; and, therefore, the public penance which he performed 
had naught to do with the assassination of the legate, and was 
only intended for the glorification of the Church of Rome, and 
the abasement of a temporal prince beneath the sandal of the 
monk. 

On a day appointed, all the relics of the Church of St. Giles 
were brought out into the porch, together with the host ; and 
more than twenty archbishops and bishops assembled round 
the legate at the door. Immediately after, the count pre- 



THEALB1GENSES. 177 

seated himself in his shirt, and swore upon the relics and the 
host to submit entirely to the holy Roman see. The legate 
then threw a stole over the neck of the count, and leading 
him thereby, as with a cord, conducted him to the grand altar, 
striking him with a small cane, after which he received abso- 
lution in form, and was considered as reconciled to the Church, 
although he was certainly never forgiven. His castles were 
still retained by the emissaries of the pope, although the pe- 
riod for their restoration had arrived ; and it would appear 
that he was required to join the crusade in person, and lead 
the armies of the Church against the territories of his nephew. 

Toward the end of summer in the same year, the crusaders 
assembled at Lyons in enormous numbers. The Duke of 
Burgundy, the Counts of Nevers, St. Paul, Auxerre, Poitiers, 
Forez, and Bar sur Seine, with a number of bishops and arch- 
bishops, and several of the greatest nobles of France, appeared 
at the rendezvous ; but, before all the rest in zeal and fanati- 
cism, was Simon, count of Montfort, 1' Amaury, surnamed the 
Strong. These princes and prelates were followed by an* 
army, the strength of which it is impossible to estimate, some 
historians stating that it numbered fifty thousand fighting 
men, and others making it amount to five hundred thousand. 
Let it be remarked, however, that this army varied contin- 
ually in numbers, the engagement of each man being only for 
forty days, and large bodies falling away while other recruits 
poured in. 

The immense force collected soon began to march on to- 
ward the city of Valence, menacing the territories of the Vis- 
count de Beziers. That nobleman now became seriously 
alarmed, and hastened to meet the legate at Montpellier, in 
order, if possible, to avert the storm which menaced him. 
The proud monk, however, who viewed this unhappy gentle- 
man with peculiar ill-will, rejected his submission with con- 
tempt ; and the viscount, driven to despair, retired to Beziers, 
and called his friends and vassals to arms. They appeared 
in considerable numbers ; and, with hope renewed, the vis- 
count divided his forces into two parts ; and, leaving the most 
experienced and best armed of the troops in Beziers, he retired 
with the rest of his army to Carcassonne. The inhabitants 
of Beziers, however, were highly indignant at his departure ; 
and the result proved that those he left in command were un- 
worthy of his confidence. 

H2 



178 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER II. 

THE ALBIGENSES. 

THE richest and most beautiful district of France, perhaps 
of the whole world, surrounds the town of Beziers. Within 
a short distance of the sea, fertilized by the River Orbe, with 
a warm valley filled with gardens, vineyards, and fields, fertile 
in corn and in wine, and covered with olive-trees and mul- 
berries, the whole scene is like the Garden of Eden, in the 
midst of which, on the summit of a gentle hill, with the river 
flowing at its foot, on one side commanding a view down the 
bright valley, and on the other catching a sight of the distant 
mountains, from the bosom of which the Orbe seems to pour 
forth, stands the town of Beziers, crowning the whole. Such 
is Beziers and its district now ; and such, or even richer, was 
it when the army of the crusaders, moved by eager rapacity 
and fierce fanaticism, poured into that beautiful valley pre- 
pared to slaughter and destroy. 

The anonymous cotemporary writer of the history of the 
war, who seems to have written with great care and much 
impartiality, declares that the army of the crusade was now 
swelled to the number of three hundred thousand men ; but 
he explains this immense assemblage, which no other historian 
does. While the host was moving from Lyons and Montpel- 
lier, he says, another great army was raised in the West, near 
Agen, by the Count of Auvergne, with whom was associated 
the Bishop of Bazas and the Archbishop of Bordeaux, with 
two or three other prelates and noblemen. This force com- 
menced its march through Quercy, in order to join the legate 
before the attack on Beziers, and on the way took two strong 
places named Puy Laroque and Chasseneuil. The first town 
was found without a garrison, and was immediately burned 
to the ground by the captors. The second had a strong cit- 
adel well garrisoned by Gascons, who held out resolutely, and 
in the end marched out, by capitulation, with arms and bag- 
gage. As soon as they were gone, the lords and bishops en- 
tered the town and commenced that course of atrocities which 
ran through the whole crusade, burning every man and woman 
whom they suspected of heresy. 






T H E A L B I G E N S E S. 179 

This duty -of their religion having been performed, they 
marched on and joined the army of the legate. -This was not 
the only re-enforcement, however, that his host received ; for 
the Bishop of Puy had raised a still larger force, and advanced 
with rapid marches, menacing the towns of Caussade and St. 
Antonine. This bishop, however, loved money better than 
blood ; and the two heretic places purchased his abstinence 
by a very considerable donation. The inhabitants of the town 
of Villemur took fright at the reports from Chasseneuil and 
Laroque, and retired from their city by moonlight, as the ar- 
mies approached, setting fire to the town in many places, so 
that it was entirely consumed. 

As soon as it was known that the attack upon Beziers was 
intended, the bishop of that place, Renault of Montpellier, 
set out to meet the legate and intercede for the people of the 
town. He obtained permission to endeavor to bring the in- 
habitants to a treaty for the surrender of the place. The 
garrison and the citizens refused boldly to yield without re- 
sistance, and the bishop returned to the camp to communi- 
cate the failure of his mission. The legate, on hearing their 
resolution, took a very Christian oath, well suited to his char- 
acter. He swore that he would not leave one stone upon 
another in Beziers, but would give the town up to fire and 
sword, sparing neither men, women, nor infants, and granting 
quarter to none. The bishop then pointed out that there 
were many Catholics in the town as well as heretics, and 
asked how they were to be distinguished in such a terrible 
execution. 

" Kill all," replied the Abbot of Citeaux. " God knows 
his own." 

The city was immediately invested and the tents pitched, 
for every one expected that the siege would be long. Some 
of the garrison, however, perceiving a knight ride vauntingly 
up to the very bridge over the Orbe, issued forth to meet him, 
and he was hurled, dead, into the river. This brought on an 
immediate assault of the walls. The immense multitude of 
the crusaders overpowered all resistance. Ladders and planks 
were brought forward ; the ditch was passed, the ramparts 
scaled ; and the blood-thirsty multitude poured into the town. 
" There took place," cries the historian, " the greatest massa- 
cre that ever was seen in the whole world ; for they spared 
neither old nor young, not even sucking infants. They put 
them all to death." 

As many of the unfortunate inhabitants as were able took 



180 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

refuge in the great Church of St. Nazaire ; and the priests 
promised to ring the bells when the slaughter in the streets 
had ceased. " But there came no sound of a bell in Beziers 
that day ; for neither priest, though in his robes, nor clerk was 
left alive. All were put to the sword ; not one escaped." 
" The town was pillaged ; they set fire to it every where, so 
that it was devastated f and burned as we see it at present. 
There was left nothing living within it." Such is the account 
of a steadfast Catholic ; and well might he add, " It was a 
cruel vengeance !"* 

From the ruins of Beziers, the host of the crusade advanced 
upon Carcassonne, into which the young viscount had thrown 
himself, and arrived under its walls on the day of St. Mary Mag- 
dalen. According to the system of that day, Carcassonne was 
strongly fortified ; the garrison was numerous, and composed 
of veteran soldiers ; and the people of the place, strongly at- 
tached to their lord and to the principles of the Albigenses, were 
resolute in their resistance. Many assaults were given with- 
out success. The suburbs were taken and destroyed ; and 
yet no progress seemed to have been made. Sorties innumer- 
able taught the besieging force the courage and determination 
of their adversaries ; and the young viscount himself was ever 
the first in the field and upon the walls. It was now the end 
of August, however ; the weather was intolerably hot ; drought 
soon began to be felt in Carcassonne. An epidemic disease 
broke out, but the people declared that they would sooner 
perish by the terrible death of thirst than submit to the piti- 
less legate, and for many days the attack and defense were 
continued without much advantage on either side. 

The superior lordship of Carcassonne was, we are assured, 
in Peter, king of Aragon, nearly allied to the young viscount. 
That monarch, therefore, hastened, as soon as he heard of the 
siege, to interpose between the legate and his relation ; and, 
announcing that he did not intend to aid either party, was 
well received in the camp of the crusaders. All that he could 

* I have taken my account of the storming of Bezicrs from the anony- 
mous historian of the wars of the Albigenses. He was evidently a co- 
temporary, as M. Guizot shows, and though not so copious in his dates 
as some others, more impartial, more sincere, and in -many respects 
better informed. Peter of Vaulx Ceruay is full of errors as to this part 
of the history, as well as of concealments of truth. He says that Be- 
ziers was taken on the day of St. Mary Magdalen, and that the slaughter 
took place in her church. It was taken several days before ; and there 
never was a church dedicated to her in the town. The great church 
was that of St. Nazaire, and the other that of St. Felix. He apparently 
confounds the capture of Beziers with the siege of Carcassonne. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 181 

obtain from the council, however, was an offer to allow the 
viscount to march out with twelve of his companions, their 
arms and baggage, provided he left the city and its inhabit- 
ants to surrender at discretion. This offer was rejected by 
the young noblemen with honest indignation ; and the king, 
applauding his resolution, left him to make the best defense 
he could. 

The assault was renewed without success ; and the legate, 
it would appear, then had recourse to cunning where force had 
failed. The succeeding transactions are very dark, and the 
statements very different ; but I can not put faith in the ac- 
counts of Peter of Vaulx Cernay, whose insincerity is mani- 
fest. He says that a capitulation was entered into, by which 
the people were to be allowed to issue forth stripped to the 
shirt, while the viscount was to remain a prisoner in the hands 
of the crusaders. By his own account, however, very slight 
advantages had been gained in the attack of the town ; and 
the statement of the anonymous historian of the war is much 
more credible. In the narrative of the latter, it is declared 
that a treacherous envoy was sent to negotiate with the young 
leader, and pledged his word to the viscount that, if he would 
visit the legate, he should be permitted to return in safety. 
No sooner, however, had Raymond Roger presented himself 
in the camp, than he was arrested ; and the people of Car- 
cassonne, finding that their lord had been made a prisoner, 
with many of his best officers, escaped from the town during 
the night by a subterraneous passage, which led them beyond 
the camp of the besieging army. 

This historian shows an intimate local knowledge of all the 
places he mentions, which is quite wanting in the writings of 
both Vaulx Cernay and Puy Laurens. His style is simple 
and his impartiality extraordinary, considering his decided 
condemnation of the tenets of Albi and his admiration for St. 
Dominic. There are no miracles, no excuses for the excesses 
of one party or the other, and none of that scandalous sup- 
pression of the truth which, in Peter cf Vaulx Cernay, is very 
remarkable, and amounts to actual falsehood. Upon his state- 
ments, therefore, we may rely with greater confidence than 
upon those of any other writer on these wars ; and I entertain 
no doubt that his account of the fall of Carcassonne is sub- 
stantially correct. 

Certain it is, that the young Viscount of Beziers fell into 
the hands of the crusaders, and that he died in prison not long 
afterward. It was very generally rumored that his death was 



182 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY.* 

violent, and a clear and impartial writer of modern times 
seems to think that there can be no doubt of the fact. The 
historian whom I have quoted above, however, distinctly de- 
nies that such was the case, though he notices the rumor, and 
asserts that the viscount died of dysenteiy, then very preva- 
lent in the country. 

In the mean time, a question was agitated, which had never 
yet presented itself to the crusaders. The possession of Car- 
cassonne and Beziers, with several smaller places which had 
surrendered, gave the command of the whole viscounty to the 
leaders of the host. What was to be done with this territory, 
comprising one of the richest and most beautiful districts in 
France ? The movable plunder in the two cities had been 
great ; but the possession of the viscounty would imply oner- 
ous duties ; and the legate and council of the crusade offered 
the territory to the Count of Nevers, and then to the Duke 
of Burgundy, in vain. Both those princes were anxious to 
return as speedily as possible to their own lands ; and, on their 
refusal, the viscounty was offered to Simon, count de Mont- 
fort, who had greatly distinguished himself in the various at- 
tacks upon Carcassonne, and had also won honors in the Holy 
Land. He was, indeed, in all respects a very remarkable 
man, and sprung from a race, active, vigilant, and politic, 
which at various times furnished many an illustrious name to 
the roll of fame. He was above the ordinary height of men, 
with a handsome and commanding countenance, broad chest, 
long arms, and powerful limbs, combining the utmost strength 
and agility. To the corporeal qualities of the knight he add- 
ed gifts of mind and peculiarities of character, which seemed 
to point him out for the station he was destined to fill. He 
was firm, shrewd, persevering, dauntless in circumstances of 
danger, fiery and yet thoughtful in battle. He was, more- 
over, ambitious, deceitful, and cruel, full of religious fanaticism, 
and utterly unscrupulous of the means which he took to ad- 
vance either his personal interests, or to insure success to the 
cause he had espoused. 

Such was the man to whom the viscounty of Beziers was 
now offered. He affected, at first, to decline, as the other great 
nobles had done ; but means were speedily found to induce 
him to withdraw his refusal, though not, we are assured by 
Peter of Vaulx Cernay, till the legate had actually gone upon 
his knees to prevail upon him to accede. I do not mean to 
say that I believe this story ; but it is in character with the 
general extravagance of that historian's statements. 



THEALBIGENSES. 183 

The was now greatly changed its aspect. Its religious 
tinge was not, indeed, altogether lost ; but the personal ambi- 
tion of Simon de Montfort infused into it a new spirit. It 
may henceforth be looked upon as a war for his aggrandize- 
ment, in which he fought the neighboring princes with the 
arms of religious fanatics, and encouraged in others the super- 
stitious zeal which he himself felt, as much to advance his 
own interests as to insure the triumph of the Church. 

It is a very common thing for robbers to quarrel about the 
spoil. 

The crusading nobles could be looked upon only as brigands, 
although they bore a cross upon the breast. They had at- 
tacked a nobleman, against whom no crime was proved. 
They had pillaged his territories, taken his cities, and slaugh- , 
tered his subjects by thousands, without discrimination or in- / 
vestigation, and without any lawful authority. \ Disputes now 
arose among them ; and it is clear that the gift made, in 
reality, by the legate of the viscounty of Beziers to the Count 
de Montfort, was the immediate cause of these dissensions. 
The Count of Nevers, the Duke of Burgundy, and an im- 
mense number of the crusading nobles, announced their inten- 
tion of immediately abandoning the crusade ; and the dis- 
putes between Nevers and Burgundy went so far, that great 
fears were entertained lest the two princes should kill each 
other in the camp. De Montfort and the legate, frightened 
at the defection, labored earnestly to persuade their compan- 
ions to remain, and were successful with the Duke of Bur- 
gundy and some of the nobles of Germany and Lorraine. 
The Count of Nevers, however, and a great number of others, 
marched away, instigated, we are assured, by the devil, which 
we have no reason to doubt ; for as the devil certainly brought 
them there, it is very probable that he took them back again. 

The Duke of Burgundy and the Count de Montfort, with 
the forces which still remained, marched out of Carcassonne, 
after a few days' rest, in order to obtain possession of the towns 
and castles of the viscounty, which still held out against 
them. Some of these were of considerable importance, as 
Minerve, Termes, and Cabaret ; but many other small towns, 
terrified at the excesses committed by the crusaders, submit- 
ted at once without resistance ; and others were abandoned 
by their inhabitants, and were found vacant on the approach 
of the army. Such was the case with Fanjaux, where St. 
Dominic had established himself. 

The inhabitants of Castres invited De Montfort to their 



184 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

town ; but he could not set his foot in any place without dis- 
playing the spirit of persecution which animated him ; and a 
very fair specimen of its operation is afforded by a transaction 
which took place in Castres. Among other heretics brought 
before the count and the legate, were a teacher and his neo- 
phyte. The unhappy young man, seeing the preparations 
for burning himself and his master, declared his readiness to 
abandon the doctrines which he had not yet fully imbibed, 
and submit himself entirely to the Church. A great dispute 
then arose between the crusaders present, as to whether he 
ought to be burned or not ; and it was decided by De Mont- 
fort in favor of the burning, for the following reasons. " If 
he be really converted," said the religious count, " the fire 
will serve as an expiation for his sins ; and, if he is deceiving 
us, it will be a just punishment." 

The young man, however, was saved by a miracle, we are 
seriously informed, the flame which consumed his companion 
only serving to burn the cords which bound him and the tips 
of his fingers. This, if it was true, and if it was miraculous, 
clearly showed that Heaven did not approve of the summary 
proceedings of the Count de Montfort. 

Before the end of the year, De Montfort and the legate, 
while still aided by the Duke of Burgundy, carried on their 
excursions on various sides, trenching on the territories of the 
Count of Toulouse in one direction, and on those of the Count 
of Foix on the other. It would be tedious to tell all the places 
they attacked and took, or of which they obtained possession 
by menaces ; but it is quite clear that they did not confine 
their operations to the viscounty of Beziers. 

Raymond of Toulouse, in order to save his territories from 
spoliation, had been driven by the Church to take the cross, 
and to lead the armies of the legate against the territories of 
his nephew. Passion, also, might have some share in his con- 
duct ; for, as I have shown before, the young viscount had 
commenced by levying war upon his uncle. The count, how- 
ever, had soon cause to regret the fatal mistake he had made. 
The only chance of security left to any of the suspected princes, 
after the preaching of the crusade, lay in firm combination 
for resistance ; and they ought to have known that no such 
things as mercy or justice exist in a religious war. 

After the fall of Carcassonne, it appears that, trusting to 
the absolution of the pope, and suspecting the ambition of De 
Montfort, Raymond proposed to the latter, when he had ac- 
cepted the viscounty of Beziers, to dismantle the fortresses 



THE ALBIGENSES. 185 

upon the frontier of that district, and upon that of his own 
county of Toulouse, justly observing that otherwise the gar- 
risons might enter into disputes, which might lead to serious 
consequences. He even proceeded to act upon this plan, and 
threw down several castles of his own on the marches of Tou- 
louse and Beziers. 

We do not find, however, that De Montfort did the same ; 
and his invasion of territories belonging either to Raymond 
himself or to his neighbors and allies, showed the unfortunate 
prince what he was to expect when the leader of the crusade 
was firmly established in his new possessions. From Carcas- 
sonne, Raymond had retired to Toulouse, watching the pro- 
ceedings of De Montfort and the legate with doubt and -jeal- 
ousy ; but his ambitious neighbor soon displayed his purposes 
in a more clear and definite manner. Vague charges of her- 
esy were spread abroad regarding the Count of Foix ; and 
hardly was De Montfort firmly established in possession of the 
viscounty, ere he wrote imperious letters to both the neigh- 
boring counts, telling them, that if they did not immediately 
come to some accommodation with him, he was determined to 
fall upon them. Letters to the same effect, it would appear, 
were written to the inhabitants of Toulouse, in which city De 
Montfort had many agents among the priesthood. 

The Count of Toulouse replied, that as to himself, his peo- 
ple, and his territory, he had no question to settle with the 
Count de Montfort, or the legate either ; that he had made 
his peace with the pope, and had shown the terms, agreed 
upon in writing, to the legate, with whom he did not propose 
to enter into any other arrangements than those which he had 
made with the sovereign pontiff. He bade the messengers, 
also, inform the count and the legate that, since they seemed 
determined to harass him and strip him of his territories, he 
was determined to go in person to Rome, and lay his cause 
before the holy father, Innocent. 

The Count of Foix was apparently less resolute than even 
Raymond of Toulouse. He agreed to give up his youngest 
son to De Montfort, till such time as he should have justified 
himself from the charge of heresy brought against him by the 
legate. 

It would appear, however, that Raymond's determination 
to visit Rome gave great uneasiness to his enemies ; and fresh 
difficulties and dangers were preparing for De Montfort, who 
had yet to learn how slippery are the steps of ambition's lad- 
der, and how short-lived is the effect of terror in producing 



' If- 
186 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

submission. Before the end of the year, De Montfort had 
possessed himself of Alzonne, Fanjaux, Castres, Lombers, Pa- 
miers, Saverdun, and Mirepoix, and carried his arms even to 
Albi itself. On the other hand, he had in vain besieged Ca- 
baret ; but he had gained Saisac, had bought the surrender 
of Limoux, and laid siege to Preissan, a town belonging to 
the Count de Foix, which, after it had made a gallant resist- 
ance, that nobleman weakly surrendered to him, at the same 
time that he gave his son as a hostage. In all these places 
the most horrible cruelties were committed by order of the 
count and the legate. Multitudes of men, women, and chil- 
dren were burned alive or hanged ; and the records which 
we find in different Roman Catholic authors are such as the 
following : 

" He took several castles which resisted the holy Church, 
and hanged, of good right, many of their inhabitants upon 
gibbets, which they had well merited."* 

" The besieged, wearied out with a long siege, having fled 
during the night, were stopped by our guards, who cut the 
throats of as many as they could find."t 

" The Count Simon, having thus taken the castle, caused 
the above-named Aimeri, a notable nobleman, to be hanged 
upon a gibbet ; also a small number of knights. The other 
nobles, with some who had mixed among them in the hope 
that the knights would be spared, to the number of about 
eighty, were put to the sword ; and, lastly, some three hund- 
red heretics, burned in this world, were thus given over by 
him to the eternal fire ; and Guiraude, the lady of the chat- 
eau, cast into a well, was there crushed down with stones. "$ 

" Under a color of heresy, they (the legate and the Count 
de Montfort) pillaged and destroyed the poor country, so that 
it was sad to see all the evil and the damage that they did."$ 

Oppression and butchery had passed the point at which 
they excite fear, and had roused the spirit of vengeance and 
resistance. The first check received by De Montfort came 
from the King of Aragon. That prince held, under homage 
to the King of France, or, as some contend, without suoh 
homage, the superior lordship of Carcassonne and Montpellier ; 
and feeling that the donation of the former city by the legato 
and the council of crusaders was invalid without the recog- 

* Peter of Vaulx Cernay. t William of Nangis. 

t Puy Laurens. 

$ History of the War of the Albigenses. Dora Vaiasette, Histoire de 
Languedoc, torn, i 



THE ALBIGENSES. 187 

nition of the King of Aragon, De Montfort was exceedingly 
anxious to be admitted to do homage for his new possessions. 
Peter of Aragon met him at Narbonne, and even journeyed 
with him in a friendly manner to Montpellier ; but he would 
in no manner recognize De Montfort's title to the viscounty, 
and positively refused to receive him to homage. 

The count's absence from Carcassonne, in the mean time, 
had been the signal for a general revolt in the territories of 
Beziers ; and even some of his most trusted friends had risen 
against him. The Duke of Burgundy had retired from the 
crusade ; winter was coming on ; and the troops, on which 
he had relied, had, for the most part, abandoned him to return 
to their own homes. The people of the country had taken 
advantage of the favorable moment. Castres and Lombers 
had risen against the garrisons which De Montfortr had left in 
those places, had made prisoners both soldiers and knights, and 
were prepared for vigorous resistance. The Count of Foix, 
seeing the daily encroachments of the adversary, had broken 
the truce, retaken the Castle of Preissan, and made an attack 
upon Fanjaux. Arnaury, lord of Mont Real, whose town had 
fallen into the hands of De Montibrt, it would appear, by 
treachery, regained possession of the place. The two com- 
manders, whom the count had left in Saissac, in making a 
treacherous attack upon Cabaret, a fortress belonging to the 
Count of Toulouse, were surprised by the old captain of the 
latter place, named Peter Roger,* with a force of only forty 
men, and completely defeated. Only one man, it is said, es- 
caped alive from the field ; and only one, Bouchard de Mar- 
ly, was made prisoner. Two brother knights, Amaury and 
William of Pissiac, were besieged in a castle near Carcas- 
sonne, and made prisoners ; and one of De Montfort's favorite 
officers, named Gerard de Pepieux, had revolted against him, 
in consequence of a private quarrel, and displayed more active 
animosity toward him than any other of his enemies. 

Peter of Vaulx Cernay conceals the cause of this noble- 
man's indignation ; but we find from other sources that some 
of the immediate attendants of De Montfort had murdered a 
dear friend of Gerard de Pepieux. ; and there is reason to sup- 
pose that the count at first refused to do justice upon them, 
though he afterward, in the same humane spirit which char- 
acterized all his actions, seized upon the actual murderer and 
caused him to be buried alive. However that might be, De 
Pepieux, gathering as many men together as he could, at- 
* He was a relation of the Viscount de Beziers. 



188 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

tacked the Castle of Puiserguier, within two leagues of Be- 
ziers, took it, and made prisoners of all the garrison. We are 
assured, upon very doubtful authority, that he promised the 
knights who were there, not only to spare their lives, but to 
convey them in safety to Narbonne. The count, however, 
hastened with his forces toward the place, in the hope of re- 
covering it before Gerard was prepared. De Pepieux, brought 
up in a school of cruelty, the lessons of which he had learned 
too well, cast all the common prisoners into the ditch of the 
tower, and threw straw, fire, and stones upon them. He then 
retreated to Minerve, taking two knights prisoners with him ; 
and, immediately after his arrival, he put out their eyes, cut 
off their noses, ears, arid upper lips, and turned them out in 
this state to find their way back to De Montfort. Such was 
the lamentable state of the count's affairs toward the close of 
the year 1209. 

Hitherto the Count of Toulouse had taken no active part 
in opposition to De Montfort and the legate, although they 
had evidently encroached upon his territories, and sought pre- 
texts of quarrel against him. Their intention of stripping 
him of his lands, however, was so evident that he proceeded 
in haste to execute his resolution, not only of seeking justice 
from the pope, but of demanding in person aid from his friends 
and allies. He accordingly set out for the court of Philip 
Augustus, who had as yet afforded no assistance to the crusa- 
ders, and on whom their near relationship gave some claim to 
Raymond of Toulouse. The count was received with great 
kindness by the king, with whom he found many of those who 
had joined in the crusade. The Duke of Burgundy, the Count 
of Nevers, and the Dowager Countess of Champagne, sister 
of his deceased wife, were present ; and from the latter he 
met with every mark of affection and regard. It does not 
appear that Philip of France absolutely promised him any as- 
sistance ; but .his friendship and countenance was in itself of 
use ; and it is probable that the report made by Raymond, 
and confirmed by the other crusading princes, of the conduct 
of De Montfort and the legate, roused the jealousy, if not the 
anger of the French monarch. Such feelings might, perhaps, 
have been cultivated profitably by the Count of Toulouse ; 
but he shortly after committed a mistake which lost to him 
forever the favor of Philip Augustus. 

Furnished with letters to the pope, from the King of France 
and the crusading princes, Raymond then hurried to Rome, 
taking with him one of the chief men (called Capitor 1 -) of 



THE ALBIGENSES. 189 

Toulouse, to bear witness of his conduct since his reconcilia- 
tion with the Church. It would appear that some days 
passed before he could obtain admission to the sovereign pon- 
tiff; for De Montfbrt and the legate, as politic as they were 
cruel, maintained a man named Robert of Mauvoisin as their 
agent at the court of Rome, one of whose duties was to keep 
up every sort of evil impression in the mind of the pope against 
the unfortunate Count of Toulouse. At length, however, an 
audience was granted ; and Raymond presented himself be- 
fore Innocent and the cardinals, justified his conduct at large, 
appealed to the testimony of the witness he had brought with 
him, and warmly accused the legate and the Count of Mont- 
fort of fabricating calumnies to cover the injustice of their 
ambitious proceedings. 

The appeal was not made in vain. Innocent himself was 
moved, and his knowledge of human nature convinced him 
there was much truth in the simple statement of the count. 
How far he went in judging his cause is somewhat doubtful ; 
but it is stated by a cotemporary historian that he investiga- 
ted the case fully, personally heard the count in confession, 
gave him absolution in the most formal mariner, and, on his 
departure, presented him with a ring from his own hand, and 
a rich mantle of great value. 

The companions and confederates of the legate state these 
transactions very differently ; but as it is clear that De Mont- 
fort and the Abbot of Citeaux determined not to act upon any 
instructions from Rome in favor of the Count of Toulouse, 
and misinterpreted the letters they received, it was very nat- 
ural that their scribe should be instructed to put forth their 
view of the case. It is clear, however, beyond all doubt, that 
Innocent wrote monitory letters to the legate, warning him 
not to begin hostilities against the Count of Toulouse, to pro- 
ceed with greater circumspection in his war against the her- 
etics, and to consult the French nobility and prelates as to the 
best means of accomplishing the pacification of the country. 
He also expressed his disbelief of the charges brought against 
the Count of Toulouse, and clearly showed a favorable dispo- 
sition toward him. 

On his way back from Rome, Raymond committed one of 
the many indiscreet acts with which his memory is charged, 
and went to visit the Emperor Otho for the purpose of request- 
ing succor and support from him. It is true that Otho was 
his superior lord for the county of the Venaissin, and was con- 
sequently bound to give him assistance in case of an attack 



190 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

being made upon that territory. Raymond might al*o think 
that no blame could be attributed to him for visiting the neph- 
ew of his deceased wife Joan. But Philip Augustus was the 
personal and inveterate enemy of the emperor ; and Otho had 
already entered upon a course of hostilities against the Roman 
see, which led to his excommunication, by a council held at 
Rome in November of the same year. This imprudent step 
deprived Raymond of all countenance from the King of 
France ; and, although it could not annul the pope's absolu- 
tion, it certainly rendered that pontiff indifferent, if not hos- 
tile, in the subsequent dissensions between the count and his 
enemies. 

To the admonitions of the pope, the legate and the Count 
de Montfbrt seem to have paid very little attention. They 
published every where that the pope had repelled, and treated 
with scorn and contempt, the appeal of the Count of Toulouse. 
They induced the pope's legates in Provence to reject the ap- 
plication of the count to purge himself of all the crimes of 
which they accused him, in a solemn council held at St. Giles, 
and prompted them to refuse to deliver up to him the seven 
strong places which he had given as security.* 

* To give the reader some idea of the infamous knavery of these men, 
I will state the particulars of this transaction as they are given by their 
great advocate, Peter of Vaulx Ceruay, one of the actors in the crusade, 
and nephew to one only second in cunning and fanaticism to the Abbot 
of Citeaux. After stating that the Count of Toulouse, on his return 
from Rome, had demanded, according to his agreement with the pope, 
to purge himself of the imputation of having murdered Peter of Castel- 
nau, and of entertaining heretical opinions before the Bishop of Rieg 
(sometimes written Reggio) and the pope's envoy Theodise, he goes on 
to say, that Theodise, coming to Toulouse, had a secret conference with 
the Abbot of Citeaux, touching the admission of the count so to clear 
himself. " Now Master Theodise," he continues, "a man full of circum- 
spection, and foresight, and solicitude for the affairs of God, desired 
nothing so much as to be able lawfully to prevent the count from justi- 
fying himself as had been prescribed to him, and he searched for all 
means of doing so." The historian then goes on to say that Theodise 
saw that, if the count were permitted to do so, it would be all over with 
the Church in those countries. " While he tormented himself with 
these apprehensions, and deliberated thereon, the Lord opened to him 
a way of getting out of the difficulty, by hinting to him in what manner 
he might refuse to allow the count to justify himself. Accordingly, he 
had recourse to letters of our lord the pope, in which, among other 
things, the sovereign pontiff said, ' We will that the Count of Toulouse 
should fulfill our commands.' Now there were several laid upon the 
count, such as to expel the heretics from his territories, to abandon the 
new tolls of which we have spoken, and many other injunctions which 
he had failed to accomplish." We are then informed that, having ar- 
ranged all this plan with his iniquitous companions, Theodise and the 



THE ALBIGENSES. 191 

This council was held toward the end of September, 1210 ; 
but, in the mean time, various important events had taken 
place in Languedoc, which it is necessary to notice. 

The influx of crusaders had totally ceased during the win- 
ter, and Simon de Montfort was unable to do any thing of 
importance. His forces, however, always formed the nucleus 
of an army which was sure to be swollen by immense numbers 
of volunteers as soon as the fine weather set in. The first 
auxiliaries which arrived in the spring of 1210 were brought 
to him by his wife. Many more followed, and the war was 
immediately renewed. Several small places were recovered 
which had been retaken by De Montfort's adversaries during 
the autumn of the preceding year, and the same horrible cru- 
elties were exercised which disgraced his arms wherever they 
were successful. The Castle of Brom was taken after a siege 
of three days, and a hundred soldiers who were found therein 
were shockingly mutilated by the orders of this sanguinary 
barbarian. Their noses were cut off, and the eyes of all of 
them torn out, with one exception. A single individual had 
one eye left uninjured, in order that he might lead the others 
to the town of Cabaret. 

De Montfort's flatterer, Vaulx Cernay, declares that he was 
the mildest of men ; but the horrible spirit which animated 
the crusaders is more plainly shown by their awful blasphe- 
mies than even by the excesses they committed. We meet 
continually such expressions as " Christ and the Count dt? 
Montfort," "God and Simon de Montfort ;" and, after narra- 
ting the brutal act of cruelty I have just mentioned, De Vaulx 
Cernay proceeds to say, " From that moment the Lord, who 
seemed to have gone to sleep for a little, waking up to the 
assistance of his servants, showed manifestly that he was act- 
ing on our side." 

The war was next carried on furiously against the Count 
of Foix, but apparently without success. The whole country, 
however, was ravaged by the forces of De Montfort and the 

Bishop of Rieg, " in order not to appear to molest the count or do him 
wrong, held a council at the town of St. Giles, and allowed him to ap- 
pear to clear himself; but the moment that Raymond began to prove 
his innocence of the death of the legate and of the crime of heresy, 
Theodise stopped him, saying that his justification could not be heard, 
inasmuch as he had in no degree accomplished what had been enjoin- 
ed him, according to the orders of the sovereign pontiff." The count, 
we are assured, was so moved by the incessant persecution of these 
men, that he actually shed tears ; and the council proceeded, in defiance 
of the pope's absolution, to excommunicate him on the spot. 



VJ2 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

legate, till a truce was obtained for the Count of Foix by the 
intercession of the King of Aragon. 

One of the most remarkable events of the campaign of 1210 
was the siege of the strong town and castle of Minerve, situ- 
ated in the gorges of the Pyrenees, in a situation almost im- 
pregnable by any of the means then known. The attack be- 
gan toward the end of June, in the midst of the great heats 
of summer ; but the military engines of De Montfbrt and his 
companions did little damage to the fortifications, and the siege 
promised to be long and troublesome, especially as the garri- 
son and the commander were known to be men of courage 
and resolution. Unfortunately, however, they had been want- 
ing in forethought. Water and provisions failed, and William 
of Minerve proposed to capitulate. He went out himself, un- 
der a safe-conduct, to confer with De Montfort ; and it would 
appear the terms of a treaty were actually arranged, when the 
legate, the Abbot of Citeaux, interfered, and all that followed 
is enveloped in darkness and falsehood. 

We discover, however, from the admissions of Vaulx Cernay, 
that a base treachery was practiced. He admits that the 
Abbot of Citeaux desired very much that those whom he calls 
the enemies of Christ should be put to death, and he goes on 
to say, " Thinking, then, in what manner he could get rid of 
the compromise which had been entered into between the 
count and the said William, he ordered each of them to draw 
up the capitulation in writing ; and he did this, in order that, 
if the conditions put down by one displeased the other, they 
might go back from the engagements they had made." 

This detestable piece of knavery succeeded. De Montfort, 
probably, prompted by the legate, refused to acknowledge the 
terms put down by his adversary, and told him to go hack and 
defend himself as best he could. The Abbot of Citeaux then 
dictated other terms, by which it was agreed that all per- 
sons should be allowed to leave the fortress in safety, upon 
condition that the heretics renounced their heresy, and sub- 
mitted entirely to the Romish Church. William of Minerve 
had no choice but to accept these conditions, or to return and 
defend a town where the people were dying in crowds for want 
of water. 

The place accordingly surrendered, and then the slaughter 
began. The choice of apostasy or fire was given to the un- 
fortunate Albigenses. A great number preferred martyrdom 
to the renunciation of their faith. An immense fire was pre- 
pared before the gates of the citadel, and the Count de Mont- 



THEALBIGENSES. 193 

fort and the monks exhorted the people to be converted, and 
live. According to the testimony of one of their most invet- 
erate enemies, these exhortations had no effect. "Neither 
was there any need, in truth," says the monkish writer, "for 
our people to carry them to the fire ; for, obstinate in their 
wickedness, all cast themselves joyfully into the flames." 

It appears that there were many women among them ; and 
three of these were saved, actually out of the fire, by a lady 
who was with the crusading host. A hundred and eighty, or 
more, were thus burned altogether. 

The next siege undertaken was that of the town of Termes ; 
and during the operations several large bodies of crusaders 
arrived to swell the army of De Montfort, among whom were 
the Bishops of Chartres and Beauvais, and the Counts of 
Dreux and Ponthieu, together with a large party of Bretons. 
Notwithstanding a gallant defense, and the constant efforts of 
the garrison of Cabaret to assist their companions in Termes, 
the garrison was at length reduced to such a state of distress, 
both by the engines of the enemy and the want of water, that 
the commander saw it would be impossible to hold out much 
longer. In the mean time, however, violent disputes broke 
out among the crusaders ; and the Counts of Ponthieu and 
Dreux, with the Bishop of Beauvais, retired from the camp of 
De Montfort, in spite of every remonstrance. Before this 
time, however, the garrison had commenced a parley with the 
besiegers ; but a great quantity of rain falling in the night re- 
vived their courage, and they soon perceived that the number 
of assailants was greatly diminished. Almost any terms were 
now offered to them ; but the Bishop of Chartres also depart- 
ed, and De Montfort was left with the Bretons, a body of Ger- 
mans, and his own troops to carry on the siege. 

The intemperance of the people of the garrison, however, 
changed a blessing into a curse. The unexpected supply of 
water seemed to them inexhaustible ; and, quenching their 
thirst with large draughts, they brought on a pestilential dysen- 
tery, of which so many died that the rest took flight and aban- 
doned the place during the night, retreating across the mount- 
ains into Catalonia. The greater part escaped ; but the com- 
mander of the place, named Raymond de Termes, foolishly 
returned, when almost in safety, remembering that he had left 
some valuables behind him, and fell into the hands of the 
Count de Montfort, who, contrary to his usual custom, con- 
tented himself with keeping him in captivity. 

The fall of Termes and Minerve, two of the strongest places 

I 



194 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

in the whole district, brought about the surrender, without 
bloodshed, of many other castles and towns, so that De Mont- 
fort and the legate were once more in possession of the whole 
viscounty of Beziers, a large part of the diocese of Albi, and a 
portion of the county of Foix. Many excursions were made 
in different directions by De Montfort and his partisans, who 
went about the country, to use an expression of his celebrated 
historian, " burning innumerable heretics with great joy and 
satisfaction." 

It is to be remarked, that during all this time the Count 
of Toulouse was not only an obedient son of the Church, sub- 
mitting to its most iniquitous exactions without other recourse 
than an appeal to the pope, but also was on terms of nominal 
alliance with De Montfort and the legate, endeavoring to avert. 
the execution of their purposes against his territories by any 
means rather than by arms. In these transactions he showed, 
indeed, great weakness ; and although he knew his enemies, 
was well aware of their falsehood and treachery, and clearly 
saw their ultimate purposes (which were, indeed, but too evi- 
dent), he nevertheless did many things to conciliate them, 
and at one time placed his capital almost at their command. 
This was brought about, it would appear, by the intrigues of 
one of the most cunning, deceitful, and treacherous of the 
Romish prelates, Fulk, bishop of Toulouse, whom the historian 
of the war, though a steadfast Catholic himself, does not scruple 
more than once to call "the accursed bishop." 

Shortly after Raymond's return from Rome, buoyed up with 
hopes by the pope's reception and the absolution he had receiv- 
ed, he gave way to his natural lightness and gayety of char- 
acter, and yielded himself with little reserve to the guidance 
of the bishop, who easily persuaded him that some new con- 
cession to the legate, which would give him security against 
the heretics, was all that was needful to turn away his malevo- 
lence, and render the count and himself the most perfect friends 
in the world. De Montfort and the legate were brought to 
Toulouse for a day or two, were splendidly entertained by the 
count ; and in the end the legate declared, we are informed, 
that not only would he be perfectly satisfied with the sincerity 
of the count, but would do every thing in his power to defend 
him against all enemies, if he would but put him in posses- 
sion of the Castle of Narbonnois, the strongest defense of Tou- 
louse. The count, without consulting any one, and perhaps 
under the influence of wine, consented to this proposal, and 
gave up the castle to his enemy, the legate, who immediately 



THEALBIGENSES. 195 

took possession, and placed a garrison therein, much to the 
horror and indignation of the people of Toulouse. 

The date of this act I can not clearly discover; but it prob- 
ably took place some time previous to the Council of St. Giles. 

To the after-conduct of the Bishop of Toulouse, I must re- 
fer presently ; but, in the mean time, it will be needful to fol- 
low the proceedings of the count himself till such time as he 
was actually driven to take arms in his own defense. 

More than one meeting, it would appear, took place be- 
tween Raymond and the legate of a private and -informal 
character ; and we find from a letter of the citizens of Tou- 
louse to the King of Aragon, that at one of these conferences, 
to which the count had gone at the express invitation of the 
legate, De Montfort fell upon him with a body of armed men 
and endeavored to take him prisoner, chasing him for the dis- 
tance of more than a league. 

The King of Aragon interposed more than once in order to 
bring about peace. Another council was held at Narbonne 
early in 1211, where nothing was decided, the legate offering 
to restore to the count all those possessions which had been 
unjustly detained from him, but upon conditions the exact 
nature of which we do not know, but which must have been 
very severe, for the citizens of Toulouse informed the King of 
Aragon that their count had offered to put the whole of his 
territories in the power of the legate, with the exception of 
Toulouse ; life, lands, and the descent of his property to his 
children being guaranteed to him by the Church. This, how- 
ever, was refused by the legate. Certain it is, the Coun- 
cil of Narbonne produced no result ; arid Raymond set off for 
his own territories in haste, fearing for his personal safety. 

As soon as the legate found that he was gone, he dispatched 
messengers after him, and also letters to the King of Aragon, 
commanding them both, in a somewhat haughty tone, to pre- 
sent themselves at Aries, where he intended to hold another 
council. Both the princes obeyed, but probably took with 
them a suirlcient train to insure them against danger. There 
is reason to believe, however, that Raymond only went at the 
request of the King of Aragon. 

It does not appear that the Count of Foix was present at 
Aries, although he had gone to the council at Narbonne with 
as little advantage as the Count of Toulouse. In both these 
assemblies a new legate appeared in the person of the Bishop 
of Usez, who was commissioned to act with the Abbot of Ci- 
teaux, probably in the expectation that he might moderate 



196 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the rancor of the latter. But at Aries the two most virulent 
enemies of Raymond, Theodise, who possessed his castles in 
the name of the Church, and Fulk, bishop of Toulouse, added 
their malice and cunning to the violence and knavery of the 
Abbot of Citeaux, so that the Bishop of Usez, had he been 
disposed to be moderate, would have had but little power in 
the council. 

When Raymond and the King of Aragon proceeded, after 
their arrival at Aries, to visit the legate, he treated them with 
the most contemptuous haughtiness, told them to go back to 
their lodging till he sent for them, and commanded them not 
to stir from Aries without permission of the council. The as- 
sembly debated secretly, we are assured, upon what was to 
be done in the case of the Count of Toulouse ; and a violent 
and extravagant resolution was come to, which could only 
have the effect (for which, in all probability, it was intended) 
of driving the count into open resistance. As soon as the de- 
cision of the council was formed, it was notified to the count, 
in private, by a deputy from the assembly. 

" They did not dare to declare it in public audience," says 
the historian of the war, " for fear of a rising of the people ;" 
for they knew that this resolution was against God and good 
conscience. Its import was as follows : 

" Imprimis, that the count shall send away immediately 
all those who have come to aid and succor him, or shall come 
for that purpose, without retaining a single one. 

" Item, that he shall be obedient to the Church, make rep- 
aration for all the evil and damage which she has received 
from him, and shall submit to her orders as long as he lives, 
without any opposition. 

" Item, that in all his territories there shall only be eaten 
two sorts of meat. 

" Item, that the Count Raymond shall expel and cast out 
of his lands all heretics and their allies. 

" Item, that the said count shall give and deliver into the 
hands of the legate and the Count de Montfort, to do with 
them according to their will and pleasure, each and every one 
of those persons whom they shall declare and specify, and that 
before the expiration of a year. 

" Item, that throughout all his territories, no one, whether 
of the nobility or the lower classes, shall wear any rich vest- 
ments, but merely common black stoles. 

" Item, that he shall cast down and demolish, level with 



THE ALBIGENSES. 197 

the earth, without leaving- any part thereof, all the castles 
and places of defense throughout his territories. 

" Item, that no gentleman or nobleman of the country shall 
inhabit any town or place, * but shall live without in the fields, 
as do the peasantry. 

" Item, that throughout all his territories there shall be no 
more tolls or customs, except those which used to be paid and 
levied by ancient usage. 

" Item, that every head of a house shall pay each year to 
the legate, or to those he shall charge to receive it, four de- 
niers of Toulouse. 

" Item, that the count shall restore all that he shall have 
received from the revenues of his land, and all the profits he 
shall have had from it.f 

" Item, that when the Count de Montfort shall ride through 
his lands or territories, or any of his people, whether great or 
small, people shall demand nothing from him for what he 
shall take, nor resist him in any thing whatsoever. 

"Item, that when the Count Raymond shall have done 
and performed all the above, he shall go over the sea to make 
war upon the Turks and infidels, in the order of St. John, and 
not return till the legate shall tell him. 

" Item, that when he has done and accomplished all the 
above, his lands and lordships shall be restored and given up 
to him by the legate or the Count de Montfort, when it shall 
please them." 

This was a test of faith and trial of patience which Ray- 
mond of Toulouse had not strength to endure. On hearing 
the terms offered, he first burst into a fit of laughter, and then 
showed the paper to the King of Aragon, his brother-in'law, 
saying, 

"So much for you." 

Without taking leave of the legate or the council, the two 
princes immediately quitted Aries ; and Raymond, from that 
moment, prepared for war. 

* I suppose this must allude to fortified towns or places. 

t This passage is very obscure ; but T render it as well as I can. 



198 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE ALBIGENSES. 

WHILE negotiations had been going on between the Count 
of Toulouse, the King of Aragon and the Count of Foix on 
the one hand, and the legates, De Montfort, and the bishops on 
the other, the Bishop of Toulouse had been laboring diligently 
to create a party in the city itself against the count, and had 
filled it with strife and confusion. From the account of Puy 
Laurens, it would seem that he had so far succeeded* in his 
object as to induce a number of persons to form a brotherhood, 
or, as we should call it now, a club, to destroy the heretics. 
To these he gave the sign of the cross ; but they very soon 
came to blows with their fellow-Catholics of the great suburb 
of St. Cyprian, who instituted a rival brotherhood ; and fights 
frequently took place both on foot and on horseback ; " for," 
says the fanatic Romanist who writes, " the Lord had come, 
by the said bishop his servant, to bring among them not a fatal 
peace, but a salutary sword." 

The bishop himself, however, did not seem so well pleased 
with the result of his own exertions ; and the detail of what 
took place is given in simple but striking language by the in- 
habitants of Toulouse themselves, in a letter to the King of 
Aragon. After representing that they, the citizens of the 
town, were sincere Catholics, and had done every thing which 
could be reasonably demanded of them to prove their ortho- 
doxy, they show how the Abbot of Citeaux had continued to 
persecute them, notwithstanding their appeals to the pope, 
and the pope's express commands to the contrary. They suf- 
fer, however, some curious facts to appear regarding the worthy 
abbot's motives. They had promised, they say, to pay him 
a thousand livres, in aid of the proceedings against perverse 
heretics and for the support of the Holy Church. Upon this, 
the abbot consented to receive them to grace and favor, and 
recognized the whole inhabitants of the city of Toulouse, town 
and suburb, as true Catholics and legitimate sons of the holy 
mother Church ; and in presence of the whole town, of Fulk, 
bishop of Toulouse, of many other ecclesiastics of the diocese, 
and of the Bishop of Usez, he, the legate, solemnly gave them 



THE ALBIGENSES. 199 

his benediction. When, however, they had paid five hundred 
livres of the sum promised, certain dissensions having arisen 
among the inhabitants, they did not pay the remaining five 
hundred, because they could not collect the sum till tranquil- 
lity was re-established. For that cause only, and without im- 
puting to them any other fault, the legate excommunicated 
the magistrates immediately, and placed the whole town un- 
der interdict 

" After having supported for some time an impudent act 
of injustice," says the letter of the citizens, they humbled 
themselves afresh, arid gave hostages to the legate for their 
submission, who chose out for that office the most important 
men of the town, and sent them to the city of Pamiers to be 
kept there by Simon de Montfort. 

They there remained from mid-lent till the month of Au- 
gust ; and in the mean time took place the siege of Lavaur, 
at which both the two brotherhoods of the town assisted, in 
spite of the remonstrances and opposition of the count, who was 
now fully aware of the intentions of the legate and De Mont- 
fort toward him, and was eagerly preparing, with all his friends 
and allies, for vigorous and determined resistance. 

The town of Lavaur, situated on the River Agout, in its 
course from the mountains toward the Tarn, at an equal dis- 
tance from Albi and Toulouse, and now renowned for the 
quantity and the quality of the silk produced in its environs, 
was at that period famous as one of the principal places in 
the hands of the Albigenses, the members of which sect were 
exceedingly numerous within its walls. 

The crusading army, swelled by an immense influx of pil- 
grims during the spring of 1211, was in the first instance 
destined to act against Cabaret, which had continually im- 
peded its previous proceedings ; but the commander in that 
town, seeing that resistance was hopeless if attacked in the 
early part of the year, made his peace with De Montfort in 
the end of March or beginning of April, and gave up the cas- 
tle with its territories, upon the condition of receiving other 
lands of equal value. De Montfort then immediately turned 
his arms against Lavaur, and laid siege to the place early in 
the year, accompanied by the Bishop of Paris and a whole 
.lost of Coucys and Courtenays. The siege lasted long ; for 
the garrison defended themselves valiantly, knowing that they 
had no mercy to expect from the furious fanatics who assail- 
ed them. Provisions, too. were exceedingly scarce in the army 
of the crusade, so that more than once the enterprise was 



200 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

nearly given up in despair. Multitudes of fresh crusaders, 
however, arrived during the progress of the operations, and 
De Montfort and the legate were ashamed to abandon the 
siege. At the same time, however, the friends and allies of 
those within were not idle ; and while the Count of Toulouse 
applied himself diligently to cut off all supplies from the be- 
sieging force, the Count of Foix, who was now in arms in self- 
defense, watched for fresh parties of crusaders, as they passed 
through the hilly country on their march toward Lavaur. 

A large body of Germans, amounting to six thousand men, 
arrived at Carcassonne toward the end of April, and shortly 
after set off for Lavaur, tending toward Montjoyre and Puy 
Laurens. They reached the former place in safety ; but in- 
telligence of their march had been communicated to the 
Count of Foix, who instantly set out by moonlight with what 
troops he had at command, arid sent intimation to the peas- 
antry round that he was about to attack their abhorred 
enemies, the crusaders. Multitudes flocked to his standard 
as he passed on, till his force amounted to several thousand 
men. With these, he stationed himself in a forest, through 
which the Germans were obliged to pass on their way to La- 
vaur, and waited impatiently for morning. At an early hour, 
the crusaders set out from Montjoyre, and very shortly after 
entered the forest, marching in close ranks as in an enemy's 
country ; but they had proceeded only a short distance through 
the wood, when they were attacked on all sides by the forces 
of the Count of Foix, who had with him Roger Bernard, his 
eldest son, and Gerard de Pepieux, who had already signalized, 
on more than one occasion, his enmity to his former leader, De 
Montfort. The pilgrims, there is reason to suppose, were ac- 
companied or guided by several persons from Carcassonne ; and 
one of these, breaking through the ranks of the enemy, carried 
intelligence of the attack to the army which was besieging La- 
vaur. De Montfort and the legate instantly mounted and 
set out for the scene of action, followed by some fourteen thou- 
sand men ; but they arrived too late. Not a man was left 
alive and unwounded upon the field ; and it is remarked, as 
a singular fact, that only one of the six thousand Germans 
escaped without being killed, or made prisoners, or disabled 
oy wounds. An immense quantity of rich arms, valuable 
baggage and treasure, fell into the hands of the Count of 
Foix. The country people dispersed, every man to his home, 
as soon as the fight was over, and the regular troops and 
their leaders retired to Mongiscard with their spoil. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 201 

Carrying off the wounded in carts, De Montfbrt and the 
legate returned to the siege of Lavaur full of rage ; and the 
crusading scribes wrote the most virulent abuse of the Count 
of Foix and his son, for attacking those who came to plunder 
his territory, strip him of his possessions, and burn all his sub- 
jects who differed with themselves in regard to transubstan- 
tiation. 

The operations against Lavaur became only the more ve- 
hement ; and, though the defense was gallant and undaunt- 
ed, it proved unsuccessful against the enormous force which 
surrounded the place on every side. The army was soon 
after swelled by the arrival of the Count of Bar, and also 
by that of the Bishop of Toulouse. This prelate had now 
thrown off the mask toward the Count of Toulouse, and had, 
with an indescribable mixture of insolence and hypocrisy, en- 
deavored to drive that prince out of his own capital, declaring 
that he could not hold an ordination, which he intended to 
perform, so long as the count was in the town, he being ex- 
communicate, and " advising and begging him humbly to go 
out of the place and amuse himself elsewhere." 

This exhausted the patience even of Raymond ; and he at 
once sent one of his knights to the bishop, to tell him to quit 
the city himself without a moment's delay. 

The bishop sent back a reply as insolent and hypocritical 
as his first message, dared the count to turn him out, and, as- 
suming that he would attempt to murder him, gave himself 
the airs of a voluntary martyr. He remained thus for forty 
days in Toulouse, till at length, finding that he could not pro- 
voke the count to any act of violence, he retired to join the 
legate and De Montibrt under the walls of Lavaur. The 
town was shortly after taken by assault, and every one put to 
the sword, men, women, and even infants, except, indeed, a 
small party of ladies and young children, who had taken ref- 
uge in a place of security, and were spared by De Montfort 
at the entreaty of one of his noble allies. All the male pris- 
oners were afterward slaughtered in cold blood ; and some 
women, also, were killed. 

In the mean time, the legate and the Bishop of Toulouse 
had been dealing with the inhabitants of that city in a man- 
ner for which we must recur to the letter of the magistrates 
to the King of Aragon. " Informed with perfect certainty," 
says that document, "by the report of many persons, that it 
was their intention to march their army against us, we sent 
them prudent men from among our consuls, who, in the pres- 



202 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

ence of the legates, of Fulk our bishop, and of the army of 
the barons, declared that we were very much astonished that 
they intended to march their army against us, since we were 
prepared to do and to observe all that we had promised to 
the Church, and seeing, above all, that since the oath we had 
taken, since we had been reconciled to the Church, and our 
hostages had been received, we had in nothing offended either 
the barons or the Church. On hearing this, the legate, and 
Fulk our bishop, replied, that it was not on account of any 
crime or fault of ours that they intended to inarch the army 
upon us, but because we still kept for our master the lord 
count, and received him into our town ; but that, if we would 
drive our lord the count out of our town, with his supporters, 
renounce him, and withdraw from his domination and our al- 
legiance, and swear fidelity and submission to those whom 
the Church had given us for lords, then the army of the cru- 
saders would not do us any harm : but that, if we did other- 
wise, they w r ould attack us with all their power, and would 
hold us for heretics and concealers of heretics." 

The people of Toulouse unanimously refused to follow the 
cowardly and treacherous course pointed out to them ; and 
the legate and the bishop immediately enjoined the clergy of 
the city to withdraw from it in a body, publicly carrying the 
host out of the place. To the account given of the departure 
of the clergy, the witty Toulosains add the remark, " and then 
we pacified all the discords and dissensions which had existed 
for a very long time in our town and suburb, and, by the aid 
of divine grace, re-established union and concord in our whole 
city, as well as it had ever been." 

Nevertheless, the fall of Lavaur, and the terror inspired by 
the frightful acts of the crusaders, induced the commanders 
of a great number of neighboring places to submit to De Mont- 
fort and his barbarous companions. Puy Laurens, a strong 
place within three leagues of Lavaur, was abandoned by its 
garrison, and immediately taken possession of by De Mont- 
fort. This town being, without dispute, within the territory 
of Toulouse, the seizing upon it was an open act of war against 
the count. Casser was also taken by assault, and sixty per- 
sons found within its walls burned without mercy. Mont- 
joyre was taken and destroyed by the crusaders ; and Ray- 
mond of Toulouse burned down his own beautiful city of Cas- 
telnaudary, in order to prevent it falling into the hands of the 
enemy. De Montfort, however, took possession of the place ; 
and, seeing its importance to the defense of the territories he 



THEA.LBIGENSES. 203 

had acquired, rebuilt the walls, or probably merely repaired 
them, as the time he stayed was too short for any great work 
to be accomplished. 

A number of other small places fell into his hands ; and 
De Montfort also succeeded in inducing Baldwin, the brother 
of Raymond of Toulouse, to betray the count and league with 
his adversaries, at the very moment when he most needed aid 
and assistance. 

The history of this prince is somewhat curious. He was, 
it would appear, born in France, after the mother of the 
count had returned to her native land ; and he was also edu- 
cated in that country, never setting foot in Languedoc till he 
had reached man's estate. He then presented himself some- 
what suddenly to his brother Raymond, who at first refused 
to recognize him ; and Baldwin returned to Paris to obtain 
proofs of his legitimacy. With these he once more sought 
his brother, who now admitted his claim, employed him in 
the wars which were at that time going on, and in the end, 
when menaced by the army of the crusaders, placed him with 
a strong garrison in the town of Mont-ferrand, which was per- 
fectly capable of resisting a long siege. 

Shortly after the fall of Casser, "Mont-ferrand was invested, 
and at first a vigorous resistance was made ; but De Mont- 
fort induced Baldwin to come forth to a secret conference, and 
held out such advantages to him, on the condition of his aban- 
doning his brother's party, that Mont-ferrand was surrendered 
immediately to the arms of the crusaders. This, however, 
was but the first fruit of the negotiation, for there was evi- 
dently a prospective understanding between De Montfort and 
Baldwin. The latter retired with his troops to Toulouse, 
and presented himself before his brother ; but Raymond had 
received intelligence of his treaty with De Montfort, reproach- 
ed him bitterly with the cowardly surrender of Mont-ferrand, 
charged him openly with having sworn fidelity to his mortal 
enemy, arid commanded him to quit his presence, and never 
appear before him again. Baldwin took him at his word, and, 
retiring with what men he could gather together, seized upon 
the town and castle of Bruniquel, which belonged to his broth- 
er, and allied himself closely with De Montfort from that mo- 
ment. The whole frontiers of the county of Toulouse, except 
on the side of the Pyrenees, were now in the hands of De 
Montfort ; and, taking advantage of the presence of a fresh 
body of crusaders, he prepared to attack the capital itself. 



204 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

CHAPTER IV. 
THE ALBIGENSES. 

THE Count of Toulouse had not been idle while the army 
of De Montfort and the legate was making progress in the 
diocese of Albi. He had called to his aid all the friends on 
whom he could most depend, and had collected a strong force, 
both of cavalry and infantry, in the town of Toulouse. His 
principal companions were the Count of Foix and the Count 
of Comminges ; and we find that he could bring five hundred 
knights into the field, besides a strong force of infantry, with- 
out depriving the city itself of the garrison necessary for its 
defense. The whole population of the town was eager and 
resolute in support of his cause ; and, always of a warlike and 
enterprising character, the citizens were hardly inferior in the 
field to regular soldiers. Thus they viewed the approach of 
De Montibrt and his army without fear, and prepared even 
to meet them beyond the walls of the city, notwithstanding 
the overwhelming numbers of the crusaders. 

The force under the command of the legate and his gener- 
al had been swelled by the arrival of the Count of Bar with 
a large army, and by the junction of a considerable body of 
men under the Count of Chalons. Immediately after the ap- 
pearance of these two great barons in the field, a council of 
war was held, and it was determined to march at once upon 
Toulouse ; but the carnp of De Montfort was not free from 
the spies of the enemy, and intelligence was immediately 
brought to Raymond of all the plans of the crusaders. The 
bridges over the Lers and the Arrieges were broken down, 
and the fords were guarded by strong bodies of the Toulou- 
sians. At one point, however, a bridge was neglected, and 
the army of De Montfort appeared while the troops of Tou- 
louse were engaged in destroying it. A skirmish ensued, in 
which the numbers of the crusaders overpowered the enemy, 
though not without suffering considerable loss ; and the army 
passed the river, detaching a large body of horse to follow the 
retreating forces of the Count of Toulouse. Before he reach- 
ed the gates of his capital, however, Raymond, who had re- 
tired in perfect order, halted his forces, made a gallant charge 
upon the pursuers, drove them back again to a camp on the 



THE ALBIGENSES. 205 

bank of the river, where the great mass of De Montfort's 
forces had halted, and then slowly retreated to the city, tak- 
ing with him a number of prisoners, among whom was one 
of the sons of De Montfort himself. 

On the following morning De Montfort advanced almost to 
the gates of Toulouse, and pitched his camp at a short dis- 
tance from the walls ; but this day was to be marked by 
every sort of horror and barbarity that could disgrace the arms 
of the crusaders. The unoflending peasantry laboring in the 
fields were slaughtered without mercy or discrimination. 
Men, women, and even children were butchered wherever 
they were found. Cottages, villages, farms, and country 
houses, the citizens of Toulouse inform us, were burned to 
the ground ; and, exercising their rage even upon inanimate 
things, De Montfort and the legate, with folly not less than 
their wickedness, ordered the whole standing crops to be de- 
stroyed, and the vines cut down or plucked up by the roots. 
This conduct created no fear or hesitation in the minds of the 
inhabitants of Toulouse, but only rendered them more resolute 
in resisting the barbarous enemies by whom they were assail- 
ed. So far from showing the slightest dread, they opened 
four new gates in their walls, in order to issue forth with 
greater ease, and attack the enemy in various directions at 
once. 

Immediately after the arrival of the army of the crusade 
under the walls, De Montfort, trusting in his immense force, 
ordered his troops to make a general attack ; and they ad- 
vanced with their usual fury, under cover of great bucklers 
of boiled leather. The troops in the town, however, issued 
forth to encounter the enemies as they approached, drove them 
back with shame and confusion, and carried several of their 
great bucklers into the town. The Count of Foix, who seems 
to have commanded the sally, although his horse was killed 
under him and one of his most gallant knights slain by his 
side, pursued his advantage, and chased the retreating enemy 
even beyond their own camp : nor did he cease the combat 
till night fell and he was forced to retire. 

The rage of De Montfort exceeded all bounds ; for, besides 
having lost an immense number in killed and wounded, two 
hundred prisoners, among whom were several persons of dis- 
tinction, were carried away into the town. He still made 
vigorous efforts, however, to retrieve the honor of his arms, 
and more successful efforts, likewise, to avenge himself upon his 
opponents, by the destruction of their property. He ravaged 



206 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the fields and vineyards for many miles around ; but he made 
no impression on the town of Toulouse ; and the inhabitants, 
enraged at the excesses he committed, determined to issue forth 
and attack him in his camp, even in spite of the remonstran- 
ces of their count. Placing themselves under the command 
of the seneschal of Agen, they sallied out a short time after 
the mid-day meal, at an hour when the troops of the crusade 
were accustomed to take repose during the heat of the day, 
and, attacking the camp with the utmost fury, for some time 
carried all before them, killing the crusaders in their tents, 
and taking possession of an immense quantity of arms, horses, 
plate, and money. Several of the garrison of Toulouse, who 
had been made prisoners, were freed from their chains ; and 
the Count of Foix, learning what was taking place, issued 
forth with all the troops under his command, to support the 
party who had made the attack. His arrival completed the 
confusion in the crusading camp ; and it was long before the 
Count of Bar and De Montfort could gather together a suffi- 
cient force to oppose any thing like a regular and well-ordered 
resistance. As soon, however, as one battalion was formed, a 
rallying point was given for the whole host of the crusade ; 
and seeing that they would be soon overpowered by numbers, 
the seneschal of Agen and the Count of Foix collected their 
parties, arid retired in good order to Toulouse, taking with 
them a valuable booty and a number of prisoners. 

In the mean time, it would appear, dissensions had broken 
out between De Montfort and the Count of Bar ; and the 
consequences of the devastation of the country fell upon its 
authors. None of the peasantry would bring in provisions to 
the camp, and the parties mnt out to forage were cut off by 
bodies of troops from the town. Famine began to show itself 
in De Montfort' s host, and the price of bread rose till it could 
not be purchased for the common soldiers. 

Both the Counts Chalons and of Bar, having witnessed 
with their own eyes the conduct of the legate and De Mont- 
fort, became convinced of the baseness of their motives, and 
raised their voices loudly against the iniquity of their proceed- 
ings, recommending them strongly to make peace with the 
Count of Toulouse and his allies, and announcing their determ- 
ination to depart immediately. 

In these circumstances, nothing remained but to raise the 
siege ; and on the 1st of August, St. Peter's day,* the army 

* Monsieur Guizot places the retreat of De Montfort in the month 
of July ; but the letter of the inhabitants of Toulouse, who certainly 



THE ALBIGENSES. 207 

of the crusade disappeared from beneath the walls of Toulouse, 
striking their tents in the night, and making a precipitate and 
undignified retreat. The mortification of De Montfort found 
vent in fresh excesses, and turning his steps toward the county 
of Foix, he ravaged and desolated the whole land in the most 
barbarous manner. The Count of Chalons quitted him im- 
mediately with all his forces, " for he saw well," says the his- 
torian, " that the legate and the Count de Montfort had no 
just cause or quarrel to eat people up as they did." The Count 
of Bar, however, continued some time longer with the legate, 
though in daily dispute with De Montfort, and scandalously 
abused by the partisans of the latter. 

Several small places were taken and retaken ; and every 
cruelty that religious fanaticism, joined with merciless cupid- 
ity, could suggest, was inflicted on the unhappy people of the 
towns. After having exercised all his savage propensities in 
the neighborhood of Foix, burned the towns and their inhab- 
itants, destroyed the crops, hewn down the vines and fruit- 
trees, and put the country people to the sword, De Montfort 
turned his steps toward Quercy, at the invitation of the Bishop 
of Cahors. The Count of Bar, however, now positively re- 
fused to go with him any further, and left him with all his 
forces, except a body of Germans, who agreed to remain with 
the crusaders for a short time longer. While engaged in his 
expedition to Quercy, the town of Puy Laurens was snatched 
from the hands of De Montfort by the Count of Toulouse, 
who was now making vigorous preparations for carrying on 
an offensive as well as a defensive war against his enemies. 
Friends and partisans flocked to his aid as soon as it was 
known that he had actually been driven to that resistance 
which, had it commenced two years earlier, might have proved 
successful. Among the rest was the celebrated Savary de 
Mauleon, a leader of the highest repute, who joined him 
with a large band of Gascon nobility.* 

must have known the exact time, fixes it on St. Peter's day, the 1st of 
August, before daybreak. 

* This officer had greatly distinguished himself in the wars between 
England and France, and has never been at all suspected of favoring 
heresy or deviating into schism, yet such was the candor, Christian 
charity, and good faith of the crusaders who took the pen in hand to 
chronicle the achievements of De Montfort, that we find him thus stig- 
matized by Vaulx Cernay solely because he came to aid his friend and 
ally, Raymond of Toulouse. He calls him " That very wicked apostate 
and prevaricator, son of the devil in iniquity, minister of Anti-Christ, 
Savary de Mauleon, surpassing all other heretics, worse than an infidel, 
enomy of Jesus Christ, prince of apostasy, artificer of cruelty, author 



208 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

The forces of De Montfort had waned as Raymond's had 
increased, and when the Germans withdrew toward the ap- 
proach of winter, the army of the crusade was diminished to 
a mere skeleton of its former self. In these circumstances, De 
Montfort retreated to Carcassonne ; and a number of small 
places was recovered by the Count of Toulouse, who, pursu- 
ing his advantage, marched onward with the purpose of at- 
tacking his enemy in Carcassonne. De Montfort, however r 
who possessed, at least, the virtue of high courage in a very 
remarkable degree, threw himself into Castelnaudary, with 
the determination of defending it to the last. The fortifica- 
tions of that place had now been completely repaired ; and, 
situated on a high hill between Carcassonne and Toulouse, it 
was, perhaps, the most advantageous point in which he could 
have posted himself in order to defend the frontier of the vis- 
county of Beziers. A small garrison only was required to 
maintain this post ; and it afforded a convenient rallying-point 
for the various bodies of crusaders scattered over Quercy, the 
Toulousains, and the Albigeois. 

If the army of Raymond of Toulouse was as great as his 
enemies represent it, numbering a hundred thousand men, he 
certainly committed a great mistake in not advancing upon 
Carcassonne, and leaving a sufficient force to mask Castel- 
naudary ; for the former important place was unprovided for 
defense. But there is every reason to believe that his numbers 
have been greatly exaggerated. However that may be, the 
siege of Castelnaudary was soon established in form, though 
it does not appear that the place was completely invested ; 
for, from all parts of the country, succor speedily arrived to De 
Montfort, and many large bodies of troops forced their way 
into the place. A considerable force, led by the Bishop of 
Cahors, Bouchard de Marly, and some other noblemen, was 
attacked in the neighborhood of St. Martin by the Count of 
Foix, and a sanguinary engagement ensued, in which, it would 
seem, success inclined toward the forces of Toulouse, although 
night separated the combatants. 

Shortly after this event, however, Raymond of Toulouse 
raised the siege of Castelnaudary, for what reason we do not 
exactly know, as it is clear that he had obtained possession of 
one of the suburbs of the town, and that the walls of the place 
were greatly damaged. Raymond, indeed, suffered under a 
great disadvantage from the major part of his troops being 

of perversity, opprobrium of mankind, diabolical man, devil altogeth- 
er." There are more of such epithets ; but these are enough. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 209 

mere volunteers, led to his assistance by princes and noblemen 
over whom he had no control. Insubordination seems to have 
been complete in his camp, every leader doing exactly what 
he thought fit, without consulting the unfortunate count him- 
self. This was strongly exemplified by the combat of St. 
Martin, in which the Count of Foix engaged without the 
knowledge of his ally. Indeed, so ignorant were Raymond 
and Savary de Mauleon of what had become of their friend, 
that when the Count of Foix arrived in the camp at night 
he found they had given orders to take down the tents and 
prepare for a retreat, thinking that he and his troops had ei- 
ther abandoned them, or had been surprised and put to the 
sword. 

Although successful in retaining possession of Castelnau- 
dary, De Montfort was evidently in no position to commence 
offensive operations against the Count of Toulouse ; for, ac- 
cording to the account even of his companion and eulogist, he 
retired to Narbonne, while the Count of Toulouse and his 
friends overran the whole country to the north and west of 
the viscounty, and with extraordinary rapidity made them- 
selves masters of no less than seventeen strong towns, besides 
more than fifty small fortresses and castles. 

One of these towns, named Grave, which had been recov- 
ered by the count, was almost immediately retaken for the 
party of De Montfort by Raymond's brother Baldwin, who, 
treacherously assuming the arms of the count himself, obtain- 
ed admission with a large party of troops, and slaughtered his 
brother's garrison without mercy, although we find it record- 
ed that, at the very same time, the Count of Toulouse him- 
self refused to attack the town of Bruniquel, because he believ- 
ed that Baldwin was in it. 

The spring of 1211 brought great re-enforcements to the 
army of the crusade. Monks, priests, and bishops were en- 
gaged in all parts of Europe, exhorting a superstitious people 
to rush to the destruction of the Albigenses ; and we find 
leaders from every Roman Catholic country engaged in this 
unholy war, not even excepting England itself, which sent 
Walter Langton, brother of the Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Very early in that year a large body of French crusaders 
joined De Montfort at Narbonne ; and, toward the feast of 
Pentecost, he once more took the field to recover all that had 
been lost during the autumn of 1210. Cahusac was speedily 
regained ; and, calling to his aid the faithless brother of the 
Count of Toulouse, he laid siege to the town of St. Marcel ; 



210 I>ARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

but, after continuing his operations against it for some weeks, 
he was obliged to strike his tents and depart. This check, 
howevef, was soon more than compensated by the arrival of 
two immense swarms of crusaders from Gemiany arid Lom- 
bardy, and every thing which had been lost was regained. 
The same horrid cruelties were committed as those which had 
previously marked the march of the crusading armies ; and 
we find recorded a sanguinary execution of the inhabitants of 
every town taken by De Montfort, with the exception of St. 
Antoine and one or two small places. 

Every day the forces of the crusade increased, and town 
after town fell before them, till at length the small city arid 
castle of Penne proved a stumbling-block in their way, and 
detained them under its walls for nearly two months. The 
want of water and provisions at length compelled the garrison 
to surrender upon an honorable capitulation, and they march- 
ed out with all they possessed. The town of Biron was tak- 
en almost immediately afterward, and Peter Algais? who had 
abandoned the party of the crusaders, and received the com- 
mand from the Count of Toulouse,, was drawn through De 
Montfort' s camp at the heels of a horse, and then hanged. 
Still, the forces of the legate and his companions increased, 
and Moissac, Verdun, and Castel Sarrasin fell into their 
hands. 

In all of these transactions, one of the most active enemies 
of the Count of Toulouse was his brother Baldwin ; and, to all 
appearance, the unnatural war he carried on was not without 
profit to himself. 

Against the immense force which was now in the field the 
Count of Toulouse and his allies could do nothing except carry 
on a desultory warfare on the side of Foix, where the whole 
country, which had fallen into the hands of De MontftTrt, re- 
volted against its oppressor as soon as its natural lord appear- 
ed. Castle after castle, and town after town was taken, till 
De Montfort, who was vainly besieging Mont Auban, march- 
ed with an immense force to recover the county of Foix. 
Every thing fell before him, except the town of Foix itself, 
which set all his efforts at defiance ; and he was obliged to 
retire to Pamiers, when the army of the crusade be<*an to dis- 
perse, as usual, at the commencement of winter. Their sep- 
aration, however, was not so complete now as on most other 
occasions, and a good many operations were undertaken in the 
decline of the year. The territories of the Count of Commin- 
ges were ravaged ; and the towns of Muret, St. Gaudens, and 



THE ALBIGENSES. 211 

several smaller places fell into the hands of the crusaders. On 
the other hand, however, the Count of Toulouse himself took 
the town of Pujol by assault, and put the whole garrison to 
the sword without mercy. Skirmishes innumerable took 
place in the open country, and the eldest son of the Count of 
Foix, as active and as valiant as his father, harassed the en- 
emy incessantly. 

Nevertheless, the crusade, though driven back from time to 
time, like the waves of the rising sea, still made progress 
against the territories of Foix, Comminges, and Toulouse ; 
and, as a last resource, Raymond determined to apply to the 
King of Aragon for military aid in his distressing situation. 

It was probably about the same time, arid in order to 
strengthen the application of their count, that the magistrates 
of Toulouse wrote the well-known letter, which I have quoted 
more than once, to the same prince. 

Peter, king of Aragon, was one of the most distinguished 
warriors of his age, bold, courageous, and enterprising, fond 
of all military sports, and no mean poet in his native language. 
His renown in arms had been principally gained against the 
Saracens of Spain, whom he had defeated with a terrible 
slaughter, only a short time before the application of his re- 
lation, the Count of Toulouse. The voice of the Church of 
Rome had been raised loudly in his praise for his signal deeds 
in defense of the Church. The trophies of his victory were 
hung up in the Cathedral of St. Peter. He was called the 
Illustrious and the most Christian ; but all the honey was 
turned to gall the moment he espoused the cause of Raymond 
of Toulouse. From thenceforth he is stigmatized as perverse, 
obstinate, even heretic. Peter of Aragon, however, was not 
to be frightened by hard names, nor deterred by ecclesiastical 
censures; and during the winter of 1213, he crossed the 
mountains and presented himself in Toulouse, both to take 
counsel with his brother-in-law and to endeavor to obtain for 
him, from the Church of Rome, the justice so often denied 
him, and the restitution of the territories of which he had 
been stripped. After conferring with Raymond and the 
Counts of Foix and Comminges, he proceeded to a spot half 
way between Toulouse and Lavaur, where he was met by 
Simon de Montfort and the legate. The conference which 
ensued was without any great result, the Archbishop of Nar- 
bonne demanding that the King of Aragon should send in a 
specification of that which he desired in writing, and a truce 
of eight days was granted to draw up the proposal of the king. 



212 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

A few days after, a letter from the King of Aragon was 
presented to the council, far more moderate and even humble 
than might have been expected from his power, his high re- 
nown, and his close connection with the person for whom he 
pleaded. In the name of Raymond of Toulouse, of the Count 
of Comminges, the Count of Foix, and Gaston of Beam, he 
offered to make full satisfaction to the Church of Rome for 
any excesses committed or damage done by themselves or their 
adherents ; and he demanded that their territories should, 
upon this condition, be restored to them. In the case of the 
Count of Toulouse, he offered an alternative, namely, that 
if the Church thought fit to refuse the restoration of that 
prince's territories to himself, that they should immediately 
put his son in possession thereof under careful guardianship, 
while the count in person should not only make the promised 
compensation for all evil done, but should lead a body of troops 
either against the Saracens of Spain, or to aid in the recovery 
of the Holy Land ; and he hinted, in exceedingly gentle but 
firm terms, that if these conditions were refused, he should 
be obliged to aid his relations, his vassals, and allies. 

The council, resolved to strip the Count of Toulouse and 
his friends of all their possessions, refused the demands of the 
King of Aragon, imputing as a crime to the Count of Tou- 
louse and his adherents the defense of their own territories. 
The king then demanded a suspension of arms till the day of 
Pentecost following ; but this application was also rejected ; 
and Peter of Aragon then publicly announced to the legates 
that he took the oppressed princes under his protection, ap- 
pealing at the same time from the decision of the Council of 
Lavaur to the pope in person. 

The Archbishop of Narbonne answered in a letter full of 
hypocritical insolence ; but the King of Aragon had, in the 
mean time, sent off' messengers to Rome, and had obtained 
from the pope himself an order for the legates to restore the 
territories of the Counts of Comminges and Foix, and of Gas- 
ton of Beam, to cease proceeding against the Count of Tou- 
louse, and to stop the preaching of the crusade. 

Very little attention, however, was paid to these demands. 
The crusade was preached as before. The territories were 
not restored ; and the war was earned on upon the pretense 
that the pope had been deceived, while letters were sent to 
his holiness to dissuade him from the more moderate measures 
he was inclined to pursue. 

The King of Aragon then formally defied De Montfort, 



THE ALBIGENSBS. 213 

and prepared to give armed assistance to the Count of Tou- 
louse ; but the preaching of the crusade was now more suc- 
cessful than ever. Honors, dignities, lands, and lordships had 
fallen to the lot of those who had carried on the butchery in 
Languedoc with the greatest zeal ; and an immense number, 
actuated by the mixed motives of ambition and fanaticism, 
took the cross in all parts of France. The principal of these 
was Prince Louis, the son of Philip Augustus ; and, although 
the ambitious schemes of his father still detained him in the 
North, his example was highly useful to the designs of the 
legates. 

Thus, during the spring of 1213, an immense force of cru- 
saders poured into Languedoc, while, on the other hand, the 
King of Aragon, having left a small body of knights to sup- 
port the Count of Toulouse, gathered together an army in his 
own territory, and repassed the mountains in the commence- 
ment of September. 

The town and castle of Muret, on the higher Garonne, 
about three leagues above Toulouse, had been captured by the 
crusaders some time before. The fortress had been greatly 
strengthened, and was strongly garrisoned; and the troops 
which it contained made daily excursions almost to the gates 
of Toulouse. Before this city, the united armies of Langue- 
doc and Aragon sat down on the llth of September, 1213 ; 
and, in a furious assault, which took place shortly after, the 
town was taken, and the garrison driven into the citadel. 
The citadel itself, it would appear, might also have been 
taken ; but the King of Aragon, hearing that De Montfort 
was hastening to its assistance, had recourse to a stratagem 
which proved ruinous to himself. Knowing that his own 
forces were greatly superior in number, he resolved to allow 
De Montfort to enter the place unopposed, hoping to capture 
him and his whole company within the walls of Mure't. He, 
therefore, commanded his troops to withdraw from the town, 
and to leave the passage of the bridge undisputed. Shortly 
after, a considerable force of crusaders appeared on the oppo- 
site bank of the Garonne, and, probably to their own surprise, 
were allowed to cross the river and enter Muret. Early in 
the morning, after they had arrived within the walls, which 
had been terribly shattered by the siege, a general assault 
took place ; but the troops of De Montfort having only come 
from a place called Hauterive, at the distance of two leagues 
from Muret, were not nearly so much fatigued as the King 
of Aragon and his allies imagined. The walls were defended 



214 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

with valor and skill ; and, after a furious combat of several 
hours, the Aragonese forces returned to their tents, threw off 
their armor, and sought refreshment and repose! 

The moment was too favorable to be neglected by De Mont- 
fort, although the crusaders must by this time have been 
weary with their march and the defense of the place. Com- 
manding all the foot soldiers to remain in the town, he mar- 
shaled his cavalry in three bodies, and suddenly issued forth to 
attack the camp of the King of Aragon, which lay at a very 
short distance from the walls. He found almost every one 
unarmed and unprepared for defense, and breaking into the 
camp at three several points, the crusaders carried death and 
confusion wherever they came. At the first cries of " Mont- 
fort ! Montfort !" the king, with the three counts, seized their 
arms and rushed to the various points where the fray was go- 
ing on, in the hope of beating back the enemy. All, however, 
was confusion, terror, and disarray in the camp. No one at- 
tended to the calls of their leaders. No one obeyed the orders 
they received. Multitudes were flying on every side. The 
sword of the crusaders raged in the rear. The panic was 
general throughout the camp ; and so mad and blind was the 
impression of terror, that an immense number plunged into 
the Garonne and were drowned. The King of Aragon him- 
self, disdaining to fly, fell early in the day, shouting his bat- 
tle-cry to the last ; and the handful of gallant men, who aided 
their lord in his attempts to rally the host, died around him. 
The rumor of the king's death, and the scene of unutterable 
confusion which appeared on every side, showed the three 
counts that there was no chance of recovering the day ; and, 
after having fought gallantly for some time, they turned their 
horses and escaped to Toulouse.* 

* This account of the battle of Muret is principally taken from the 
statements of the anonymous historian of the wars, with a few facts 
added from Peter of Vaulx Cernay, and from the letter of the prelates 
who were present in the crusading army. The anonymous historian 
differs much from Vaulx Cernay. The latter, in order to add to the 
glory of his hero, takes no notice of the surprise of the camp, but rep- 
resents the whole Aragonese and Toulousian army as drawn up in bat- 
tle array to oppose the small force of De Montfort ; but the facts which 
he suffers to appeal*, and those apparent in the letter of the prelates, dis- 
play the causes of the Aragonese defeat, and show the truth of the 
anonymous writer's statements and the inaccuracy of Vaulx Cernay. 
The prelates state that the King of Aragon sat down under the walls of 
Muret three days after the nativity of the Virgin Mary, that is to say, 
on the llth of September. Intelligence was immediately sent to De 
Montlbrt, who reached Saverdun on the llth, where he remained the 



THE ALBIGENSES. 218 

In the mean time, the foot soldiers of De Montfort had 
issued forth from the walls of Muret, and employed themselves 
diligently in putting to death the wounded, arid stripping the i 
dead and dying, so that the leader of the crusade, who did not 
venture to pursue the enemy far, found the body of the King 
of Aragon naked on the ground when he returned. Nothing 
remained but to slaughter a multitude of Toulousians who re- 
mained in the tents, and this was done without much diffi- 
culty or resistance. Twenty thousand men are said to have 
fallen on the part of the Albigenses ; only one knight and a 
few common soldiers on the part of the crusaders. The rela- 
tive forces of the two armies are represented as eight hundred 
cavalry and a small body of foot under the command of De 
Montfort, and a hundred thousand men under the King of 
Aragon and the three counts. 

It is probable that the disparity is greatly exaggerated ; but, 
nevertheless, the battle of Muret was a glorious victory for 
De Mqntfort, and a most disastrous defeat for the Count of 
Toulouse and his allies. 

night. Some negotiations ensued between the King of Aragon and the 
legate, who sought to drive him from before the walla of Muret by the 
thunders of the Church. These proving ineffectual, De Montfort 
marched on, Vaulx Cernay admits, unopposed to Muret. He takes little 
notice, however, of the subsequent assault upon the town by the allied 
troops, but next represents De Montfort issuing forth pompously against 
the whole host of the enemy drawn out in battle array. He, neverthe- 
less, shows that an immense number of Toulousians remained in the 
camp, even after their companions had been defeated and the crusaders 
had passed forward in pursuit. He adds, indeed, that they were pre- 
pared for battle; but he admits that the Bishop of Toulouse, even, was 
struck with compassion at their miserable situation, and sent a monk to 
them to offer them life, if they would be converted and submit. This 
offer would hardly have been addressed to " an infinite number" armed 
and prepared for battle. The same story is told by the prelates in their 
letter, from which it is probable that Vaulx Cernay copied his whole 
account; and it appears clearly that, attacked in their tents', a very 
large portion of the allied army did not even know of the defeat and 
slaughter of their companions till just before De Montfort and his vie 
torious troops were returning to put them also to the sword. 



216 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE ALBIGENSES. 

CONSTERNATION and doubt spread through the whole coun- 
try after the battle of Muret, and many of the garrisons in 
fortresses belonging to the Count of Toulouse abandoned their 
charge and fled to the capital. The count himself, and his 
friends of Foix and Comminges*, seem to have been completely 
overwhelmed with the disaster which had befallen them, and 
to anticipate nothing less than the loss of all their territories. 
The events which followed, however, are exceedingly dark and 
obscure, and the most contradictory statements are found in 
the authors best acquainted with the facts. Even among per- 
sons strongly attached to the Roman Catholic Church, party 
spirit ran so high, that no perversion of facts was deemed un- 
justifiable to blacken the character of an enemy or justify the 
conduct of a friend. Our surest guide, perhaps, is the anony- 
mous historian, already so often mentioned ; but his dates are, 
unfortunately, so confused that we can not follow him as to the 
order of events, although he is by far the most impartial of the 
Roman Catholic historians. 

From all accounts, it would appear that De Montfort did 
not improve the great advantage he had gained as much as 
might have been expected. Negotiations were commenced for 
the surrender of Toulouse itself, in which a considerable time 
was spent without producing any result, the legates making 
excessive demands, and the magistrates of Toulouse amusing 
them with offers which, probably, they had no expectation 
should be accepted. 

In the mean time, De Montfort made some efforts on the 
side of the county of Foix, with no great result ; and he was 
soon called into the Narbonnois, by strong signs of disaffection 
which appeared among the people of that country. It is very 
clear that, at this period, ambition had completely taken pos- 
session of that great but cruel man, and that it was now his 
design to conquer, by the arms of the crusaders, the whole ter- 
ritory lying at the foot of the Pyrenees from sea to sea, to ob- 
tain the investiture thereof from the pope, and to hold it to 
himself and his heirs, probably, as a vassal of the King of 



THE ALBIGENSES. 217 

France. Many difficulties, indeed, lay in his way, of which 
the most important were, the hatred of the people of the coun- 
try, excited to the highest pitch of indignation by the barbar- 
ous acts he had committed ; the jealousy of the King of 
France, who was little inclined to render any of his vassals so 
powerful as De Montfort would have become could he have 
carried his schemes into effect ; and the hesitation of the pope, 
who, besieged by the representations of both parties in Langue- 
doc, knew not which to believe, alternately looking upon De 
Montfort as a cruel persecutor of innocent men, and, as a sol- 
dier of the Church, laboring for the suppression of heresy. 

To conciliate the King of France, De Montfort immediate- 
ly sent messengers to the son of that monarch, who, as I have 
said, had previously taken the cross against the Albigenses, 
beseeching him to join him with all speed, and to take pos- 
session of Toulouse. His agents at the court of Rome ap- 
plied themselves with the utmost diligence to calumniate the 
Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and Comminges ; and, in the mean 
time, he exerted himself with indefatigable activity to subdue 
all opposition from the mouths of the Rhone to the Atlantic. 

In none of his efforts, however, was he very successful. 
Philip Augustus evidently looked upon him with great suspi- 
cion ; and the pope, in order to ascertain the truth of the va- 
rious statements made to him, commissioned Peter of Bene- 
ventum, one of the cardinals, to examine into the state of Lan- 
guedoc on the spot, with power to receive all excommunicated 
persons back into the bosom of the Church. In Provence 
and the Narbonnois, De Montfort made very little progress ; 
Narbonne shut its gates against him ; Montpellier followed 
its example ; and no further success attended his arms till 
after the beginning of the year 1214. Not only had the 
greater part of the crusaders who had joined him left his army 
before the beginning of October, but events were taking place 
in France and elsewhere which threatened, for a time, to 
put a stop altogether to the influx of pilgrim marauders into 
Languedoc. 

The miserable condition of the Christians of the Holy Land, 
and the daify progress of the infidel, could no longer pass un^ 
noticed by the head of the Roman Catholic Church. It was 
felt to be, in some degree, a scandal that the arms of Euro- 
pean knights, nobles, and princes should be employed against 
men, all of whom called themselves Christians, and many of 
whom were sincere Roman Catholics, plundering, destroying, 
and slaughtering wherever they came, while the Christian 

K 



218 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

population of Syria, daily mown down by the sword of the 
Saracen, was crying to Europe for help. Bishops, monks, and 
preachers were directed to employ all their efforts to rouse the 
people of France and Germany to a new expedition to the 
Holy Land ; and the attention of all men was for a time 
turned from Languedoc to the shores of Palestine. 

Late in 1213, or early in 1214, the Cardinal of Beneven- 
tum commenced his work in the Narbonnois, by investigating 
all the charges against the Counts of Toulouse, Foix, and 
Comminges. It would seem he, in the first place, conferred 
.secretly with De Montfort, and received a strong impression 
from the representations of that nobleman. Nevertheless, the 
three counts did not fail to plead their own cause with him 
at Narbonne, and so far successfully that he granted them 
absolution, and received them again into the bosom of the 
Church, though not without exacting a written promise of 
entire submission to its decrees.* 

This event took place in April ; but, nevertheless, the war 
did not cease ; and Robert de Courpon, the cardinal legate in 
France, having been persuaded to abandon the preaching of 
the crusade for the recovery of the sepulcher, the stream of 
military pilgrimage began once more to flow into Languedoc. 
Robert himself joined the crusaders, and led a large body of 
troops into the diocese of Rhodez. 

Nevertheless, success was not altogether on the side of Pe 
Montfort. Universally hated throughout the land, no sooner 
were the troops of the crusade withdrawn, than the people of 
the country rose against them, expelled the garrisons they had 
left in the cities, and put many of them to death. Moissac 
revolted, and called in the forces of the Count of Toulouse. 
A great number of other places followed this example, and it 
required vast efforts on the part of De Montfort to recover 
them. The same bloody scenes were re-enacted during this 
year which had previously disgraced the crusade. Maurillac, 
Mont-pezat, Marrnande, Casseneuil, Dome, Castelnau, and 
Bainac were taken ; and, wherever resistance was offered, the 
prisoners were put to the sword or burned in the presence of 
the legates. Seven of the teachers of the Vaudois, found in 
Maurillac, were burned by the crusaders "with great joy," 

* Peter of Vaulx Cernay, with his usual base insincerity, only men- 
tions the reconciliations of the Counts of Foix and Comminges, taking 
no notice whatever of the absolution of the Count of Toulouse, though 
he must have known the fact perfectly well. The count's written act 
of submission to the Romish Church is still extant. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 219 

by the express orders of the Cardinal Robert de Courpon, glo- 
rying in -their faith, and refusing to make any submission to 
the Romish Church. Many other places fell before the arms 
of the crusaders, and the power of De Montfort was com- 
pletely re-established, when an event occurred which stirred 
up in the host of the crusade many of those evil passions which 
had more than once before broken out, and nearly frustrated 
the designs of the leaders. 

In the beginning of 1215, Philip Augustus judged it expe- 
dient to send his son, Prince Louis, into Languedoc, probably 
with a view of giving a check to the ambitious designs of De 
Montfort, rather than to aid in oppressing the people of the 
land. He took care, also, that his son should be accompanied 
by a force so imposing as to enable him to dictate to all the 
contending parties in the south of France ; and it is evident, 
that not only De Montfort, but the Cardinal of Beneventum, 
the Archbishop of Narbonne, formerly Abbot of Citeaux, and 
many other prelates and barons, regarded the approach of 
Prince Louis with jealousy and dread. Peter of Vaulx Cer- 
nay allows us to see the workings of all the evil passions 
which at this time animated the leaders of the crusade. De 
Montfort and his partisans hated Peter of Beneventum for 
giving absolution to those whom the writer calls " enemies of 
Christianity and the count." Peter of Beneventum feared 
the approach of Louis, lest, coming as son of the King of 
France, he should snatch from the Church the towns and ter- 
ritories which had been yielded to it by the Counts of Tou- 
louse, Foix, and Comminges. The Archbishop of Narbonne 
had enraged De Montfort, and also Peter of Beneventum, by 
usurping the lordship of the city of Narbonne and the duchy 
of the Narbonnois ; and he also regarded the coming of Louis 
with fear, lest a stronger hand should strip him of that which 
he had unjustly obtained. All parties, also, regarded Philip 
Augustus with anger and suspicion, because he had given no 
aid to the crusaders, and had looked with displeasure on the 
slaughter and persecution of his subjects. 

In fact, the wild beasts now began to quarrel for the car- 
cass. 

Their apprehensions, however, were needless. Louis was 
a very meek and humble servant of the Church. He arrived 
at Lyons on Easter day, and then marched down the Rhone, 
with slow and solemn progress, meeting and reassuring the 
different leaders of the crusade. Passing by Vienne and Va- 
lence, the French prince reached the town of St. Giles, where 



220 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

he was met by nuncios of the pope bearing letters, by which 
the holy father, without arrogating to himself the power of 
disposing absolutely of the territories conquered by the cru- 
saders or yielded to his legates, conferred the guardianship of 
the whole upon De Montfort. To this arrangement Louis 
made no opposition, but, acting entirely under the instigations 
of the Cardinal of Beneventum, announced that he should 
command the walls of Narbonne and Toulouse to be thrown 
down. He positively ordered the crusaders, however, to re- 
frain from all acts of violence toward the inhabitants of those 
cities, and left the destruction of the fortifications to the citi- 
zens themselves. He then marched on to Toulouse, remain- 
ed for a ^hort time in the place, and, having seen the whole 
country quietly submit to De Montfort, returned to Paris with- 
out having had to unsheath his sword. 

While these transactions were taking place in France, In- 
nocent had summoned a general council to meet at Rome in 
the month of November ; but before I proceed to notice the 
deliberations of that assembly, I must mention one of the most 
tragic events of the whole war, which occurred in the course 
of the preceding year. 

The conduct of Baldwin, the brother of the Count of Tou- 
louse, has been already noticed. We have become acquainted 
with his posthumous and apparently somewhat doubtful birth, 
his betrayal of Raymond's confidence, and his treasonable al- 
liance with the inveterate enemies of his feudal lord. Since he 
abandoned the party of the count, he had shown himself one 
of the most active and malignant of his persecutors ; and, by 
every law, his life was forfeit to his brother. A multitude of 
noblemen, who had quitted the party of De Montfort, had 
been put to death without mercy as soon as taken by him ; 
and no difference existed between their case and that of Bald- 
win, except inasmuch as Raymond was his brother as well 
as his prince ; and doubtless he showed the desperate valor 
which he so frequently displayed after his treason, from a con- 
viction that no mercy would be shown him should he be cap- 
tured. 

It would appear that he had acquired several strong places, 
besides Bruniquel, out of his brother's confiscated property ; 
and there is every reason to believe that Raymond avoided, 
as far as possible, making war upon his treacherous brother. 
Among the castles which Baldwin possessed was one in the 
diocese of Cahors, named Olme, in which he held a garrison, 
devoted, as he imagined, to his interests. Examples of trea- 






THE ALBIGENSES. 221 

son, however, are subject to be imitated by the servants of a 
traitor ; and one night, while Baldwin was reposing quietly 
at Olme, the knights, who were in the castle, called in the 
garrison of Mont Leonard, a neighboring town belonging to 
the Count of Toulouse, and gave up their commander to the 
Toulousian soldiers. Several persons were killed in the cas- 
tle during the affray ; but Baldwin was found asleep, and 
dragged away captive to Mont Auban. He was there kept 
till the Count of Toulouse arrived, together with the Count 
of Foix, the latter nobleman's son, and an Aragonese knight, 
named Bernard of Portello. Raymond, it would appear, was 
inclined to spare his brother, notwithstanding all his crimes ; 
but the others unanimously demanded his death, probably in 
retaliation for the execution of a number of their own friends, 
under similar circumstances, by De Montfort. Raymond at 
length consented ; and the unhappy man, the brother of a 
great prince, arid cousin of the King of France, was hanged 
upon a tree outside the gates of Mont Auban, like a common 
felon.* 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE ALBIGENSES. 

IN the month of November, 1115, was held a great coun- 
cil of the Lateran, at which, we are assured, more than twelve 
hundred bishops and abbots were present, besides other per- 
sons. At this assembly appeared the Counts of Foix, Com- 
minges, and Toulouse on the one part, and Guy, the brother 
of Simon de Montibrt, on the other. The state of Languedoc, 
and the heresy of the Albigenses, formed the principal topic 
of discussion ; and the council was very much divided as to 
the course which ought to be pursued. We have a minute 
and apparently accurate report of the arguments used on both 
sides ; arid a brief summary of these will show the views and 
feelings, or rather the pretexts and assertions of both parties. 

* Puy Laureus, who gives a short account of this event, does not 
blame the Count of Toulouse so much for putting his brother to death 
as for the ignominy of the punishment which he inflicted. Peter of 
Vaulx Cernay, of course, embellishes the narrative with many details 
of his own invention. 



222 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

The Count of Toulouse and his allies laid a formal com- 
plaint before the pope and his council against Simon de Mont- 
fort and the legates. They charged the crusaders with hav- 
ing wronged them in all ways, and with pursuing the war, 
pillaging their country, killing their people, and seizing upon 
their territories, notwithstanding their reconciliation with the 
Church, their obedience to her commands, and the express or- 
ders of the pope himself. They represented, as well they 
might, thatJ;he conduct of. their enemies was that of devils 
rather than men, and that the Church could not countenance 
or tolerate it without scandal and disgrace. Several cardi- 
nals, bishops, and abbots supported strongly, either from their 
own personal knowledge or from information they had re- 
ceived, the statement of the three counts ; and the pope is 
represented as having expressed much indignatjpn at the con- 
duct of De Montfort and the legates. 

The Bishop of Toulouse, however, rose in defense of De 
Montfort, and bitterly attacked the Count of Foix. He de- 
clared that his territories were swarming with heretics, who 
had taken and burned the Castle of Monsegur, with all its in- 
habitants ; that the sister of the count had put her husband 
to death, to favor the cause of the Albigenses, and had great- 
ly encouraged their heresy in her town of Pamiers. He ac- 
cused the Count of Foix and the Count of Toulouse of hav- 
ing slaughtered the crusaders who went to succour De Mont- 
fort and the legate at the siege of Lavaur, and of having slain 
six thousand of them at Montjoyre. 

The Count of Foix boldly and justly replied, that he had 
nothing on earth to do with the Castle of Monsegur, or with 
its destruction. He showed that the town had never been in 
his possession, being the property of his sister ; and he con- 
tended that he ought not to be blamed for her faults. 

The Bishop of Toulouse had thought fit to call the crusad- 
ers, killed at Montjoyre and elsewhere, the people and serv- 
ants of the pope ; and to this part of the accusation Foix 
boldly replied, 

"As to what the bishop says, that I and my lord, the 
Count Raymond, have slaughtered and killed your people and 
servants, it is riot true that we have slain any of the servants 
of the Holy Church, nor have committed any outrage upon 
them ; for those who were killed at Montjoyre were no serv- 
ants of the Church, but a mob of ribalds and thieves, who 
pillaged arid robbed the poor people, which will be found the 
truth. Thus, in that which the Bishop of Toulouse tells you, 



THE ALBIGENSES. 223 

he greatly deceives and cheats you ; for, under the shadow of 
good faith and friendship, he does nothing but betray by feign- 
ed and cunning words. His acts and deeds are rather the acts 
of the devil than any thing else, as you will find to be true ; 
for, by his instigation and malice, he caused the town of Tou- 
louse to be pillaged and depopulated ; and he put to a cruel 
death more than ten thousand persons ; for he and the Count 
de Montfort are, in these things, one." 

After the Count of Foix had thus replied to the Bishop of 
Toulouse, several other lords of Languedoc made formal com- 
plaint against that prelate and the Count de Montfort, laying 
to their charge the death of the Viscount de Beziers, and all 
the ills which had befallen the country, and showing clearly 
that the ravages of the crusaders and the massacre of the 
people of Languedoc had been committed without discrimina- 
tion, or any sense of equity and justice ; the good and the bad 
being equally put to the sword, and the true children of the 
Church confounded with those who had been condemned as 
heretics. 

Innocent, we are assured, was much moved by the repre- 
sentations made to him ; but the first open proceedings of the 
council were succeeded by all the underhanded practices and 
dirty intrigues which have so frequently disgraced the court 
of Rome. The party of De Montfort used every private 
means to induce the sovereign pontiff to declare the three 
counts finally deprived of their territories ; and, finding him 
firm in refusing, the Bishop of Toulouse and a number of other 
French prelates proceeded to the most daring and refractory 
menaces, declaring that, whatever might be the decision of 
the council, they would still aid their champion to retain pos- 
session of the lands he had acquired. 

On the other hand, the Archbishop of Narbonne now show- 
ed himself openly hostile to De Montfort, with whom he had 
so long marched to battle ; and he publicly declared that the 
Bishop of Toulouse himself was the author of all the evil that 
had been done, for he had always given to himself and the 
other legates the most damnable advice. He justified the 
conduct of Raymond of Toulouse and the others in resisting 
De Montfort with arms, and pointed out the constant submis- 
sion of the three counts to the will of the pope, whenever it 
was distinctly expressed, as a proof of their innocence. He 
was strongly supported by several other prelates, one of whom, 
addressing the Bishop of Toulouse in person, accused him of 
bringing disgrace upon the Church, of deceiving the pope, and 



2-24 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

of lighting a* fire in the Toulousain which could never be ex- 
tinguished. 

Theodise, however, a man much trusted by Innocent, took 
the opposite side, and the pope and the council remained ap- 
parently undecided. They left the lands of Toulouse and 
Narbonne, indeed, in-the hands of De Montfort ; but the pope 
invested the son of Raymond of Toulouse, who had accompa- 
nied his father to Rome, with the whole county of the Ve- 
naisin, and the lands and territories formerly held by Ray- 
mond in Provence. We are assured that the pontiff added a 
hint, of no slight significance, that if the young man could re- 
conquer all his father's territories the holy see would be well 
satisfied.* 

Here might terminate the history of the crusade against the 
Albigenses ; for the war now deviated into a mere ambitious 
struggle, on the part of De Montfort and his supporters, to 
wrest from the son of the Count of Toulouse the territories 
which the pope had left him, and to retain possession of that 
vast tract of country which Simon had so unjustly acquired, 
and in which he was universally abhorred. It may be as 
well, however, to trace the career of the principal personages 
to its conclusion: 

De Montfort, as soon as he heard the decision of the coun- 
cil of the Latran, hastened to the court of France to seek as- 
sistance, and probably to do homage to Philip Augustus for 
the territories he had acquired. Whether he was permitte'd 
to perform this act may be doubted. Some authors assert 
positively that such was the case ; but others, most favorable 
to his cause, who were present in Paris at the time of his ar- 
rival, and who watched eagerly all the passing events, make 
no mention of the fact. It is certain that he received no di- 
rect assistance from the king, and that he returned to Lan- 

* Peter of Vaulx Cernay conceals all the principal facts regarding the 
council of the Latran, passing lightly over all the angry discussions 
which took place, and merely sayiug, " It is true there were some peo- 
ple there, and, what is more, some among the prelates, who opposed 
themselves to the interests of the faith, and labored for the restoration 
of the said counts." He also asserts, in order to excuse the after-con- 
duct of De Montfort, that the county of the Venaisin and other territo- 
ries in Provence were only granted to the son of Raymond of Toulouse 
under the guardianship.of De Montfort himself, and were not to be de- 
livered up to him till he had proved the sincerity of his faith and obe- 
dience to the Church. It is clear, however, that the citizens of Avignon 
and other places opened their gates to the young count at the express 
commands of the pope. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 225 

guedoc accompanied only by a small body of knights and vol- 
unteers. 

During the absence of De Montfort, the Count of Toulouse 
and his son arrived at Marseilles from Rome, and were re- 
ceived with joy by the people of that city. Avignon sent im- 
mediately to offer the keys of the town to the young lord, and 
the county of Venaisin welcomed him gladly, the towns open- 
ing their gates, and the nobles flocking to do homage. An 
immense number of barons, each accompanied by a military 
retinue, followed the young prince to Avignon, where he re- 
joined his father, who had preceded him ; and the force col- 
lected excited in all breasts the hope of being able to expel De 
Montfort from Languedoc. Beaucaire and Tarascon remain- 
ed to be acquired ; but the latter place promptly sent to offer 
not only submission, but armed assistance ; and the citizens 
of Beaucaire besought Raymond the younger to hasten to 
take possession of the town and reduce the citadel, in which 
De Montfort had placed a garrison. 

Ever since the fatal battle of Muret, bands of Aragonese 
troops, eager to avenge the death of their king and wipe out 
the disgrace of their arms, had, from time to time, crossed the 
mountains, arid ravaged the territories held by De Montfort. 
It was now determined in the council at Avignon that the 
Count of Toulouse himself should proceed to Spain to give 
consistence and direction to the efforts of the Aragonese, and 
to raise an army for the recovery of the county of Toulouse ; 
while his son, with the advice and assistance of the lords of 
Provence and other friends, should march to Beaucaire, and 
endeavor to reduce the citadel.* 1 This plan was acted upon ; 
and while the old count hastened into Aragon, his son march- 
ed out of Avignon, at the head of a gallant army, taking his 
way toward Beaucaire. The inhabitants of that city met 
him, in procession, at some distance, bearing the keys of the 
town ; and he was hardly within the wails when a flotilla 
from Tarascon arrived, bringing a large cj-enforcement to his 
army. De Montfort's garrison in the ' tadel, though the re- 
ception of the young count took them J , surprise, prepared for 
determined resistance, and even issued forth to attack the 
Provenceaux in the streets, but were soon driven back into the 
fortress with considerable loss. 

* Some say that the application of the citizens of Beaucaire was not 
made till after the departure of Raymond the elder. Others say that 
the count himself was present when his son entered that city ; but both 
these statements seem to be erroneous. 

K 2 



226 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

The citadel of Beaucaire was at that time so strongly for- 
tified that it seemed little probable the place could be reduced 
by any other means than famine. A strict blockade was 
therefore established, and barricades erected on every approach 
to the castle, so as to prevent the escape ,of the garrison and 
the introduction of provisions. Measures were also taken to 
deprive the troops within, of water, and military engines were 
prepared for battering the walls. The whole country round 
was zealous and eager in the cause of the young count ; pro- 
visions arrived abundantly in the town, and his army was 
swelled by daily re-enforcements. 

In the mean time, intelligence of the attack upon the Cas- 
tle of Beaucaire had reached Guy, the brother, and Almeric, 
ths son of the Count de Montfort ; and collecting what troops 
they could assemble in haste, they marched to raise the siege. 
Passing through an adverse country, where every impediment 
was thrown in their way, they at length reached the neigh- 
borhood of the city, and at the Castle of Bellegarde, in its 
immediate vicinity, were unexpectedly joined by De Montfort 
himself, with the troops he had raised in the north of France. 
This addition to the forces of Guy and Almeric raised the 
numbers of the army sufficiently to justify an attack upon the 
besiegers. On the following morning an attempt was, accord- 
ingly, made to penetrate into Beaucaire ; but it was vigorous- 
ly repelled by the young count and his companions, and the 
siege continued without interruption. 

The garrison consisted of chosen men, and the defense was 
vigorous and resolute. At the same time, De Montfort loudly 
expressed his determination never to depart from beneath the 
walls of Beaucaire till he had delivered the gallant knights 
who were in the citadel. Accordingly, pitching his tents upon 
the bank of the Rhone, he threw up barricades around his 
camp, so that the besiegers were in turn besieged. The en- 
gines of the young count plied the citadel night and day ; 
those of De Montfort battered the walls of the town ; every 
resource of the art of war, as known at that time, was em- 
ployed ; mine and counter mine were run under the walls ; 
and we find that pots filled with combustible or explosive 
powder though of what composition we know not were 
cast upon the engines of the enemy to destroy them. Every 
day skirmishes and single combats took place beneath the 
walls ; and more than once De Montfort was met in the open 
field by the young count and a part of his army, while the 
rest remained to carry on the siege of the castle. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 227 

It is not denied by Peter of Vaulx Cernay that the country 
for many miles around was inimical to De Montfort ; that all 
supplies of provisions were denied him, except by the towns 
of St. Giles and Nismes, and it became necessary that what- 
ever was obtained should be escorted by large detachments, 
to prevent its being seized by the country people, so great was 
the hatred which his actions had excited. The same author 
suffers it to appear that even the knights and soldiers of De 
Montfort's camp showed themselves inactive and weary of the 
war ; and, from other accounts, we find that, on more than 
one occasion, some of the bold men among his own followers 
reproached him with his injustice and ambition, and told him 
that he might grow gray under the walls of Beaucaire, before 
God would deliver it into his hands. 

During these events Raymond the elder made a rapid 
course through Catalonia and Aragon, and rumors reached 
De Montfort that he had passed the mountains, and was ap- 
proaching the town of Toulouse, the inhabitants of which 
were eager to throw off the yoke which had been imposed 
upon them, and return to the rule of their natural lord. Not 
even the fear of losing that city, however, could induce De 
Montfort to abandon his operations against the town of Beau- 
c-aire-; and Raymond the younger persisted with equal determ- 
ination in pressing the siege of the citadel. Provisions now 
began to run short in the castle, and even the courage of the 
stout soldiers within its walls to fail. The spirit of the gar- 
rison was still further depressed when they beheld a large re- 
enforcement pour into the town to the aid of the young count, 
headed by Raymond of Mont Auban and five other distin- 
guished knights ; while a flotilla mounted the Rhone, bringing 
another considerable body of assailants, and supplies of various 
kinds, from the flat country below. To show their distressed 
condition to their lord, they hoisted a black flag on the high- 
est tower of the citadel ; and De Montfort renewed his attack 
upon the walls of Beaucaire with increased fury, but no greater 
success than before. The besiegers of the citadel found means 
to frustrate all his efforts, and even to cast inflammable ma- 
terials of some kind both into his camp and the citadel, the 
highest part of which was set on fire. 

At length, as a last resource, it was determined by De 
Montfort to employ a stratagem, arid to place a hunded cho- 
sen men in concealment, as near as possible to the gates of the 
castle and the town, during the night. It was further ar- 
ranged that the main army should attack the walls of the 



228 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

town at the break of day, but, seeming to be struck with 
panic, should affect to fly, thus drawing the forces of the young 
count forth from the walls. The men in ambuscade were to 
watch their opportunity and fall upon the rear of the enemy. 

This plan was put in execution ; but it proved perfectly un- 
successful. The leaders of the young count's army were upon 
their guard ; and his forces were sufficiently numerous at once 
to carry on the siege and to defend the town of Beaucaire. 

The soldiers in ambuscade were slain to a man, as soon as 
they issued from their place of concealment. The assault was 
repelled ; and, even in the simulated flight, De Montfort lost 
a great number of his best soldiers. 

A piece of advice was now given to him by his brother 
Guy, worthy of the cause in which he had engaged. He 
counseled his brother to enter into negotiations with the young 
count, and to promise that, if he would suffer the garrison of 
the castle to come forth, he, De Montfort, would withdraw 
his troops and leave him in peaceful possession of Provence, 
Tarascon, Avignon, and Beaucaire, but with the full determ- 
ination, all the time, of returning as soon as he had gathered 
a larger army together, overrunning the whole country, and 
hanging those who had called the young count into Beaucaire. 

De Montfort rejected this advice, swearing he would never 
leave Beaucaire till it had surrendered to him ; but, even while 
he was holding council in his camp, one of the garrison of the 
citadel contrived to escape and reach his army. When brought 
into the presence of De Montfort, he informed him that the 
troops of the castle could hold out no longer. For three days 
they had suffered all the horrors of famine, having eaten all 
their horses some time before. All his council now pressed 
him to enter into negotiations with the young count ; and let- 
ters were immediately written, offering to withdraw the troops 
and leave Raymond the younger in possession of all the places 
he had obtained, if he would suffer the garrison of the citadel 
to march out with its baggage. The reply he received was 
that, upon the conditions contained in his letter, and upon his 
decamping from before Beaucaire, the garrison would be al- 
lowed to march out, disarmed, and without baggage. But 
Raymond refused to suffer them to depart till De Montfort 
and his army were actually gone. 

The moment this intelligence was received, Simon struck 
his tents and took his departure for Toulouse, making a signal 
to those in the castle, to show that peace was concluded, and 
leaving his brother and six of his companions to receive the 



THE ALBIGEN3ES. % 229 

garrison and provide for their wants. The young count ful- 
filled his part of the contract to the letter ; and De Montfort 
marched on to Montguiscard, where he remained for several 
days, to suffer his troops to repose. He then recommenced 
his advance upon Toulouse in battle array, as if about to at- 
tack an enemy's city. 

The inhabitants, alarmed at this aspect, sent out a number 
of the most considerable men among them, to inquire how they 
had offended, and to make their peace. An immense number 
of Qthers followed, at the persuasion of the bishop ; but the 
deputation received a stern and bitter answer from De Mont- 
fort, who caused them to be seized and bound, as well as all 
the citizens whom he met with on the road. In the mean 
time, his soldiers poured into the place, and committed every 
sort of excess, pillaging the houses and violating the women. 
But the inhabitants, seeing how they had been deceived by 
the bishop, and how they were treated by De Montfort, rose 
in arms, formed barricades, got possession of the towers which 
had not been demolished, and, attacking the troops with the 
fury of despair, drove them back with great slaughter into the 
citadel, to which De. Montfort had carried all the prisoners 
he had made. 

More than once, during the day, De Montfort and his sol- 
diers sallied forth, attacked the citizens in the streets, set fire 
to the town in various places, and committed the most un- 
heard-of cruelties upon the inhabitants ; but, after a day of 
terrible confusion, bloodshed, and destruction, the town re- 
mained in the hands of the people ; and De Montfort was 
once more compelled to have recourse to the cunning of the 
bishop, to rescue him from a situation which had become per- 
ilous in the extreme. That -prelate engaged the Abbot of St. 
Sernin to interpose between the inhabitants and the count. 
It was proposed then to the magistrates and citizens of Tou- 
louse, to enter into a convention with the Count de Montfort, 
by which the past should be all buried in oblivion, and peace 
established in the town. The arms of the people, and the 
towers which remained of the fortifications, De Montfort de- 
manded should be given up to him, in order to guard against 
any future revolt. He agreed, however, on this condition, to 
grant a general amnesty to all the inhabitants, to give pass- 
ports to all who, doubting his word, might wish to quit the 
city, and to set all the prisoners free whom he kept in the 
Castle of Narbonnois. On the other hand, he threatened, if 
the citizens did not agree to this proposal, to put all those 



250 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

prisoners immediately to death. Among them were the most 
distinguished persons of the city ; their friends and relations 
were numerous and influential ; and there was no reason to 
believe that any feeling of mercy or justice would induce the 
tyrant to spare them for one moment. 

The citizens were persuaded to consent ; De Montfort and 
his knights met them at the town hall ; the convention was 
confirmed in the most solemn manner ; the arms and towers 
were given up ; and only one man was found wise enough to 
demand a safe-conduct on the instant, and to quit the ^ city 
without delay. 

" Then came the greatest treason that was ever seen !" ex- 
claims the historian. No sooner had De Montfort obtained 
complete possession of the town than he seized all the magis- 
trates and principal citizens, sent them off in separate parties 
to distant prisons, whence they never issued forth alive, and 
leveled the walls of the city with the ground. He exacted, 
also, an enormous ransom from the citizens, and remained 
with his men-at-arms in the place till it was paid.* He then 
set off for the town of Lourdes, in the Pyrenees, to consum- 
mate another act of iniquity, which had been long in prepara- 
tion, by marrying his second son to the young heiress of Bi- 
gorre, who had been torn from her lawful husband, in order to 
bring her large possessions into the family of De Montfort. 

This done, De Montfort turned his arms, first, against the 
Count of Foix, notwithstanding his absolution and the resti- 
tution of his estates by the pope, took one of his castles and 
ravaged his territory ; and then, marching on into Provence, 
attempted to recover from Raymond the younger the towns 
which had submitted to that prince during the preceding year. 
But little success attended his efforts : a few insignificant 
castles only fell into his hands, and he was soon recalled into 
the Toulousain by events which overthrew the whole fabric 
of his greatness. 

The Count of Toulouse had not been idle while these move- 
ments were taking place. He had not been prepared, it is 
true, to defend his people from the oppression of De Montfort, 
on the return of that personage from Beaucaire ; but, during 
the winter of 1216-17, he gathered together a considerable 
force of Aragonese and Catalonians, and, accompanied by one 
of the counts of the Spanish marches, passed the mountains in 
the month of August, and approached the town of Toulouse. 
There can be little doubt that, during the whole of the spring 
* Thirty thousand marks of silver. 



THE ALBIGENSES. 231 

of that year, communications had taken place between him- 
self, the citizens of Toulouse, the Counts of Foix and Com- 
minges, and a number of other nobles of the country, who 
clearly saw that De Montfort would leave them no peace till 
he had made himself master of all their possessions. Every 
thing was prepared for Raymond's reception, and he proceed- 
ed at once to one of the castles of the Count of Comminges, 
where he held a council with that prince and with depu- 
ties from the town of Toulouse. It was then determined, 
upon the representations of the latter, that Raymond should 
hurry on with all speed to his capital and throw himself into 
the place, although the citadel, called the Castle of Narbonnois, 
was strongly garrisoned ; for De Montfort and a great num- 
ber of that nobleman's men-at-arms were scattered throughout 
the town. 

The forces of the two counts proceeded in separate parties 
on their way ; and, while Comminges cleared the country of 
some of De Montfort' s troops, Raymond advanced with the 
utmost rapidity, in order to take the enemy by surprise, swam 
the Garonne with his followers, and entered Toulouse amid 
the acclamations of the people. 

The joy of the warm-hearted and vehement Toulousains 
went beyond all bounds at the sight of their prince. They 
cast themselves before his horse ; they embraced his knees ; 
they kissed his feet and the hem of his garment ; and then, 
almost unarmed themselves, having nothing but a few par- 
tisans and lances, with sticks, stones, and any thing they 
oould turn into a weapon, they attacked the followers of De 
Montfort, killed a great many, and drove the rest into the 
citadel. 

The first care of Raymond was to provide some defense for 
the town, the walls and towers of which had been entirely 
thrown down. The erection of bulwarks and palisades was 
instantly commenced, and a deep ditch was made round the 
city ; but, in the mean time, messengers from the Castle of 
Narbonnois had carried information of the count's return and 
the revolt of Toulouse, both to the Count de Montfort and 
Guy his brother, who had remained in the Toulousain to keep 
it in subjection during Simon's absence. Both hurried toward 
the scene of action ; but the latter arrived first, accompanied 
by "a considerable force, and instantly attempted to storm the 
town from the side of the Plain of MontoUeu. 

The citizens of Toulouse, however, supported by the cavalry 
of their own count and the Count of Comminges, issued forth 



232 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

from their ruined walls, and drove the enemy back with con- 
siderable loss. 

A new attack was directed the same evening against the 
Gate of St. James ; but it proved even less successful than the 
former, and Guy de Montfort dispatched fresh messengers to 
his brother to press his immediate advance. Nor did Ray- 
mond fail to call all his friends about him. Couriers were sent 
out in every direction, announcing his return ; and there was 
arming in haste throughout the whole of Gascony, Foix, and 
Bigorre/ The great nobility of the country rose almost to a 
man in the cause of their friend and ally ; and although Guy 
de Montfort still lay within sight of Toulouse, troop after troop 
of auxiliaries made its way into the city, and each was re- 
ceived with acclamations which reached and terrified the gar- 
rison of the citadel. 

Intelligence of Raymond's retuni came to De Montfort 
while besieging the Castle of Crest, on the banks of the Rhone. 
Dissembling the unfavorable news he had received, he in- 
stantly put in motion his whole forces, which had been swelled 
by a large body of crusaders under the command of Bertrand, 
cardinal of St. John arid St. Paul. He did not arrive before 
Toulouse, however, till after the defenses of the city had been 
repaired as far as possible ; but his army, joined with that of 
his brother Guy, was sufficient for the siege of the town, and 
a series of operations followed which wearied and exhausted 
his troops without producing any successful result. 

Continual attacks upon the town, and combats in the open 
country, occupied the following nine months. The Count of 
Foix joined his friends in Toulouse in the course of the au- 
tumn, and the defense of the place was resolute, active, and 
untiring. The whole country showed their enmity toward De 
Montfort, by cutting off his supplies as far as possible. His 
soldiers became wearied with incessant fatigue ; his brother 
Guy was severely wounded by the quarrel of a crossbow ; and 
still no advantage was gained. In one sally, headed by the 
Count of Foix, the troops of De Montfort were totally defeat- 
ed. No quarter was given, arid a terrible carnage took place. 
De Montfort himself fled with the rest toward Muret, but was 
pressed so hardly by the enemy that he was obliged to plunge 
into the Garonne, armed as he was, and nearly perished in the 
water. His horse was drowned, but he himself was saved by 
his companions ; and, after rallying his troops and receiving 
some re-enforcements, he renewed the siege with more fury 
than ever. In the mean time the people of Toulouse, who 



THE ALBIGENSES. 233 

had been stripped of all their weapons, were busily engaged in " 
manufacturing arms, and in constructing military engines of 
great power and size. As soon as all was prepared, some were 
directed against the Castle of Narbonnois, and some against the 
camp of the besiegers. Immense blocks of stone, arrows, and 
quarrels were cast by these great machines. The fortifica- 
tions of the citadel were nearly destroyed : it became neces- 
sary, therefore, for De Montfort to employ against the inhab- 
itants of the town the same means which they had used against 
him. He also constructed several great engines, and among 
the rest one called a cat, for the purpose of destroying the pal- 
isades and opening an entrance into the town. The defenders 
of the place, on the other hand, determined to destroy this ma- 
chine ; and the troops being drawn up in the ditch, were about 
to issue forth under cover of a shower of stones and arrows 
from their catapults and mangonels, when De Montfort hur- 
ried forward with some of his most determined followers to de- 
fend his artillery. While standing at the foot of the engine, 
as some assert, or in one of the upper stages, as others declare, 
De Montfort was struck on the head by a large mass of stone 
from one of the mangonels, and received several arrows as he 
fell. He had only time to make the sign of the cross ere his 
fierce, ambitious spirit departed, and with it the life of the 
cruel crusade against the Albigenses. A desultory warfare 
continued for some time afterward. People were burned and 
slaughtered in Languedoc at the kind instigation of the monks 
of St. Dominic ; and for many years the total disruption of all 
ties, the confusion, the anarchy,' and the misery, which this 
horrible crusade had brought upon one of the most beautiful 
countries in the world, continued in full force. The Count of 
Toulouse, however, continued to make progress in recovering 
possession of his territories, till a fit of apoplexy terminated the 
troublous course of his existence, in the month of August, 1222, 
three weeks after the death of his friend the Count of Foix, 
and four years after the fall of his great and malignant enemy. , 
Only three years more passed before the Count of Cornminges, 
and Arnold, abbot of Citeaux, now archbishop of Narbonne, 
left the busy scene where they had taken so prominent a part ; 
but one of the last who closed his eyes upon all the evils he 
had caused was the infamous and detestable Fulk, bishop of 
Toulouse, who expired in 1231. If any additional stain were 
necessary to complete the blackness of this bad man's charac- 
ter, it is cast upon it by one who justified his crimes and 
lauded his cunning, but who shows that he could jest amid 



234 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the wretchedness that he had created, upon the people who 
had been committed to his care, and whom he betrayed, per- 
secuted, and destroyed. 

In all the histories of these times the Vaudois and the Al- 
bigenses are confounded, and it is clear that in both Langue- 
doc and Provence existed a number of different sects, united 
by their general reprobation of the superstitious crimes and 
heresies of the Church of Rome, but differing from each other 
in their discipline and perhaps in their dogmas. Some of 
these sects are loudly accused of Manicheism,' and perhaps a 
few of the would-be philosophers of that age and those dis- 
tricts were infected with the heresy. They must, however, 
have been very few indeed ; for, in all the conferences and dis- 
putes between the emissaries of the pope and the pastors of 
the Albigenses, reported by the persons most favorable to the 
Church of Rome, and most inimical to its opponents, we find 
no doctrine broached by the latter to which a sincere Prot- 
estant might not conscientiously subscribe. Perhaps, indeed, 
the charge was altogether one of those frauds of which we 
find so many in the history of these events, and intended 
merely to justify the awful cruelties perpetrated by the cru- 
saders cruelties unparalleled by any which disgrace the his- 
tory of the world, with the exception of those exercised above 
four centuries afterward in Piedmont against a branch of the 
same people who here suffered persecution, and which called 
forth the beautiful sonnet of Milton, on the massacre of Pied- 
mont in 1655 : 

Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughter'd saints, whose bone* 

Lie scatter'd on the Alpine Mountains cold ; 

Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old, 
When all our fathers worship'd stocks and stones. 
Forget not : in thy book record their groans 

Who were thy sheep, and, in their ancient fold, 

Slain by the bloody Piedmontese, that roll'd 
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans 

The vales redoubled to the hills, and they 
To Heaven. Their martyr'd blood and ashes sow 

O'er all the Italian fields, where still doth sway 
The triple tyrant ; that from these may grow 

A hundred-fold, who, having learn'd thy way, 
Early may fly the Babylonian woe. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 235 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA, 



VENICE. 



CHAPTER I. 

IN the early part of the seventeenth century," somewhere 
about the year 1611, a gallant ship might be seen sailing 
along the coast of Italy, somewhat to the northwest of Genoa. 
She was a bark of no great size, it is true, but rigged and 
armed in a manner not usually seen in those waters. Her 
masts raked in an extraordinary degree, and on one deck she 
carried twenty-four large guns. She was evidently a ship of 
war, and sailed under the flag of France ; but the appearance 
of the vessel altogether was totally different from any that had 
been ever known to come out of a French dock-yard ; and 
there was something about her which caused certain Genoese 
merchantmen to watch her with a wary eye, and make all 
sail for the nearest port. 

Nevertheless, under a bright and beautiful sky, and favor- 
ed by a steady, quiet breeze, which lightly ruffled the waters, 
the fair ship sailed on her course without seeming to notice 
the apprehension created by her passage. On her deck stood 
a tall, powerful, graceful man, in the early prime of life. He 
might be thirty years of age, or perhaps a little more ; and 
his countenance, almost as brown as that of an Arab, and 
bearing two deep scars upon it, showed that those thirty or 
two-and- thirty years had been spent in laborious exercises, 
and probably in strife. His dress was rich, nay, even splendid ; 
but it was of a character rarely seen to the westward of the 
Adriatic, and certainly did not accord at all with the French 
flag under which he sailed. Yet he was evidently the com- 
mander of the ship ; and as she sailed along the coast, some- 
times gliding very near the headlands, sometimes keeping fur- 
ther out to sea, the seamen obeyed his lightest word with 
alacrity, as if long accustomed to submit to his orders, and 
to rely upon his judgment. With a look of calm satisfac- 



236 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

tion, mingled, perhaps, with a slight shade of melancholy, 
he kept his eye fixed upon the coast, till at length a young 
and beautiful lady came up from below and joined him as 
he paced the deck. Her dress was of much the same char- 
acter as his, arid any one who had traveled in the Levant 
would have instantly recognized it as the costume of some 
part of Greece ; but he certainly was not a Greek, for his 
features and complexion spoke plainly a more northern race. 
With her it might be doubtful ; for, though exceeding- 
ly beautiful, the pale olive tint of her skin, the large, dark, 
lustrous eyes, and the arched and finely-penciled eyebrows, 
seemed to bear evidence of Oriental birth. They spoke to- 
gether long and tenderly in a strange tongue ; and, albeit the 
expression of his countenance in general was stern and eager, 
almost to fierceness, toward her every thing that was harsh 
seemed subdued. At length the little port of Monaco came 
in sight. Thither the vessel directed its course. One of the 
seamen came up to the commander and spoke a few words 
to him in French. He replied in the same tongue, " Oh, 
yes ! Plenty of water for her draught. We have been in 
shallower harbors than that." 

The lady went below again. The commander steered with 
his own hands, and the vessel was soon in the harbor of 
Monaco. The officers of the port came on board, and seem- 
ed surprised at much that they saw ; but the papers were all 
in due order, and every formality was complied with. In the 
evening of the same day, the commander and the lady land- 
ed with several women whom she brought with her ; and 
during his absence, for he went on himself to Turin, a very 
valuable cargo was taken on shore. 

At Turin, tha commander of the vessel had an immediate 
audience granted him by the Duke of Savoy, who received 
him with great favor and distinction, ordered whatever doc- 
uments he required to be prepared with the utmost dispatch, 
and then suffered him to return to Monaco. 

In the mean time, a rumor spread through the little port 
that the commander of the vessel was the famous Jacques 
Pierre, whose extraordinary enterprises against the Turks had 
dignified, in the eyes of all zealous Catholics, even the crimi- 
nal occupation of piracy. A thousand tales were told of his 
deeds in the Levant ; how sometimes with a single vessel, oc- 
casionally aided by other piratical leaders, he had carried terror 
and confusion into the cities of the infidel, had scattered and 
burned the Mohammedan ships, and almost annihilated the 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 237 

trade of Turkey. Marvels even were reported of him ; and, 
of course, a romantic imagination embellished and exaggerated 
the truth. He had appeared, men said, when nobody believed 
him to be within many hundred miles ; he had obtained ad- 
mission into ports and fortified places, no one knew how ; he 
had suddenly started up with a mere handful of armed follow- 
ers, in the midst of a well-guarded town, had vanquished all 
before him, swept the place of its treasures, and destroyed its 
buildings with fire. 

Some of these tales were true, some of them false ; but cer- 
tain it is, that this was the famous Jacques Pierre, one of the 
most renowned pirates of the day, whose actions, full of chiv- 
alrous daring, and marked by a certain portion of generosity 
and courtesy, were looked upon with a favorable eye by Chris- 
tian princes, whose dominions he aided to defend. These ac- 
tions acquired for him glory and renown instead of punishment 
and death. 

Now what was it brought him home, returning toward his 
own fair land of France, after spending six or seven years in 
a way of life which seemed to render the assumption of any 
calmer and less perilous course utterly impossible ? Never- 
theless, his vessel and its cargo were sold. His companions, 
receiving a share of all, which satisfied even their cupidity, 
parted from their leader with tears and protestations of attach- 
ment, pursued their way to deeds and fate unknown. 

Jacques Pierre himself, with his lovely wife, her attendants, 
and one or two who attached themselves more particularly to 
his fortunes, retired to the town of Nice, purchased a beauti- 
ful property on the slope of the hills, and, with ample means 
and a heart apparently at ease, commenced a life of tranquil 
enjoyment. True, the jiobility of the land showed no fond- 
ness for his society ; but Jacques Pierre sought them not, and 
seemed to look upon them with some degree of scorn. True, 
the citizens regarded him with doubt and fear, and never 
could forget that he had been the great pirate. The richest 
merchant of Nice gave him the wall, and the little children 
looked up and held their breath as he passed. But their servile 
apprehensions seemed to amuse and to please Jacques Pierre. 
Little did he mingle with this class of society either, though, 
perhaps, to the lower order of citizens, his demeanor was less 
lofty and stern than toward the higher classes. All his hap- 
piness seemed to lie in his own home ; and there, in a kind of 
luxurious but not unrefined indolence, he passed hour after hour, 
and day after day, with her he loved for his sole companion. 



238 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

During the summer and the autumn, he would lie by her 
side, under the shadow of a tree, or of the clustering vines 
upon the hill, and look over the wide blue sea, and talk of 
other lands and other hours in a dreamy sort of poetry. Some- 
times his conversation was of sweet scenes, and beautiful places 
along the fair shores or the bright island of the ^Egean Sea. 
Sometimes, however, the adventurous spirit of other days 
would seem to revive, and he would speak of the battle, and 
the roaring cannon, arid the flashing steel, the flying enemy, 
the captured ship, the burning town. Then would she sigh 
to think that the fiercer part of his nature was still unsubdued. 
He remained tranquil, however, for nearly two years ; and 
she learned to think, or rather to hope, that the thirst for act- 
ive enterprise was altogether dying away. 

They were seated together once more in their garden on 
the hill, enjoying the sweet air of the evening, and the peace- 
ful aspect of the whole scene. The roads, from the villages 
round about down to the town, were clearly traced out, as if 
on a map before their eyes, and were dotted here and there 
with peasantry returning from Nice to their homes. There 
was one group, however, upon which the eyes of Jacques 
Pierre fixed more particularly, consisting of two horsemen, 
and a man on foot who walked by the side of the horse on 
the right hand, and spoke from time to time to the rider. 
The road they were upon led directly from Nice to the coun- 
try-house of the corsair ; and when they arrived before the 
gates, they stopped at the door. One of the servants of the 
house was soon after seen guiding a distinguished-looking 
stranger through the gardens to the spot where his master 
and mistress were ; and, rising to meet his visitor, Jacques 
Pierre received a letter from his hands, which, when he read 
it, seemed to agitate him a good deal. He conversed calmly, 
however, with the stranger in the French tongue ; and the 
name of the Duke of Ossuna was often mentioned. 

W hen the visitor was gone, after a very brief stay, Jacques 
Pierre seated himself by his wife again ; and then he told her 
that the letter which he had received was an invitation from 
the Duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Sicily, to come to his court 
and take a high command in his armies against the Turks. 
The renown he, Jacques Pierre, had acquired while waging 
war against the infidel on his oivn Jiand, had reached the 
ears of the viceroy ; and, resolved to carry on with activity 
the hostilities already commenced against the Turks, Ossuna 
sought for the counsel and assistance of men who, like Jacques 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEV A. 239 

Pierre, had already distinguished themselves against the ene- 
mies of Christianity. 

The lady heard his words with fear and pain ; for, though 
he told her he would deliberate upon the invitation, she knew 
him well, and could read upon his countenance the secret 
emotions of his heart, with which he himself was not alto- 
gether acquainted. He told her he would deliberate ; but 
she saw with grief that, without knowing it, he had already 
decided. 

In less than a fortnight from that time Jacques Pierre and 
his wife were on their way to Messina. He could not resist 
the temptation to begin again, under brighter auspices and 
a more honorable name, the exciting and adventurous career 
to which his youth had been devoted. Visions of glory and 
renown, and wealth and dignity, floated before his eyes. He 
had been accustomed to command, and he knew not what it 
is to serve. His wife became reconciled to the loss of the 
calm tranquillity upon which she had fixed her hopes by the 
prospect of her husband's elevation arid success ; and the 
honor and distinction with which they were treated at Na- 
ples silenced her regrets, if they were not altogether to be 
crushed. Looked down upon by the high nobles, regarded by 
the lower orders with a degree of awe approaching to fear, 
Jacques Pierre had lived at Nice in a state of complete isola- 
tion from those around him. But now the Viceroy of Naples 
applauded and sought him. The court was open to him ; 
high command was assigned him ; and, if we may believe the 
account of some historians, the great Duke of Ossuna treated 
him as a brother. Surely this was enough to reconcile a lov- 
ing and attached wife to the loss of a portion of her domestic 
peace. 

Galleys were equipped, armed, and placed under the com- 
mand of the corsair ; and beneath the flag of Spain he sailed 
away to the scenes of his first achievements. The gay Si- 
cilians watched his departure, and then soon forgot him, 
though great activity was displayed in their ports in the 
preparation of a more important armament against the Turks. 
Ere that armament was ready, however, indeed before three 
weeks were fully over, the galleys of Jacques Pierre once more 
appeared off the port, followed by a number of other vessels, 
each bearing the Turkish flag reversed below the flag of Spain. 
Loud acclamations greeted the gallant sailor as he landed ; 
and the Duke of Ossuna embraced him before the whole 
court, pronouncing his success an omen of greater triumphs 



240 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

to come. A few weeks more passed, and the fleet was fully 
equipped and put to sea. An important command was assign- 
ed to the corsair ; and day by day as the armament sailed on, 
it was remarked that the viceroy himself held long consulta- 
tions with Jacques Pierre, to which none but a few officers 
of the highest rank were admitted. At length the Turkish 
fleet was discovered off the beautiful Island of Chios. Im- 
mediate dispositions were made for battle, and a desperate 
engagement followed. Every movement of the Sicilian fleet, 
however, was successful. Many of the Turkish galleys were 
taken. More were burned ; and the scattered remnant of 
the fleet found safety in flight to various ports of Asia Minor. 
Many a man in the viceroy's armament attributed the tri- 
umph of that day to the councils of the French corsair, and 
to his activity in the battle. Ossuna publicly thanked him 
for both ; and fresh honors and favors awaited him on his re- 
turn to Sicily, consoling his wife for his danger and his ab- 
sence. But the smiles of a court are very fickle ; and so it 
would seem Jacques Pierre had still to find. 



4 ' 

CHAPTER II. 

THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 

A YEAR or two passed, and the situation of all parties was 
changed. The Duke of Ossuna was now viceroy of Naples 
as well as Sicily. The war was no longer with the Turks. 
The German and the Spanish branches of the house of Aus- 
tria were at variance with the Venetians and the Duke of Sa- 
voy ; but negotiations for peace were going on, much against 
the will of three remarkable servants of the Spanish crown, 
Pedro of Toledo, governor of the Milanese ; Pedro de Giron, 
duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Naples ; and Alphonso de la Cueva, 
marquis of Bedomar, the Spanish embassador at the court of 
Venice ; for, although war actually existed between the re- 
public and the crown of Spain, yet it had never been formal- 
ly declared ; and the Spanish embassador had not been with- 
drawn from the city of the Adriatic. A treaty of peace was 
on the point of being signed ; but it was well understood that 
the officers of the crown of Spain in Italy would very unwill- 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEV A. 241 

ingly, if at all, abandon hostilities against Venice, and that 
Spain herself; perhaps, might connive at the prolongation of 
a war by which her subjects had been enriched arid her am- 
bitious views in Italy promoted.* 

Still Jacques Pierre had been the friend and confidant of 
the Duke of Ossuna, often actively serving the viceroy, al- 
ways admitted to counsel and advise him. Wealth and hon- 
ors had fallen thick upon him. His house was like that of a 
prince, and his companions were the nobles of the land. 

Suddenly a change came over the scene. Jacques Pierre 
returned from the palace of the viceroy with an anxious and 
discontented countenance. He became irritable, impatient, 
gloomy. The news spread through the court that he had 
bitterly offended the ruler of the land, that he was out of fa- 
vor, that he was a disgraced man. Courtiers began to look 
cold upon him ; and his wife did not venture to ask what it 
was that oppressed him. For some days his house was as 
solitary and quiet as it had been at Nice ; but it was not as 
calm and happy. At length, one evening when the lady was 
about to retire for the night, her husband kissed her tenderly, 

* The period to which the Duke of Ossuna protracted the hostilities 
against Venice, even after the signature of the treaty of Madrid, is of 
great consequence to the elucidation of the conspiracy of Cueva, or Be- 
domar, as it has been termed. The Count Daru founds all his reason- 
ing against St. Real upon the supposition that the Duke of Ossuna had, 
even at the time when the supposed plot was laid, conceived the de- 
sign of separating Naples and Sicily from Spain, and erecting them into 
a kingdom for himself. He shows that Ossuna, in pursuit of this ob- 
ject, must have looked for help to the Venetians, and that there is 
reason to supposp he did actually negotiate with them ; but he takes 
care to give us no dates in regard to that negotiation ; and it is perfect- * 
ly clear that, if any such friendly negotiation did take place at all, which 
may be doubtful, it was posterior to June, 1618 ; for, during the whole 
of the autumn of 1617, and the spring of 1618, Ossuua was actually en- 
<*a<*ed in hostilities with the Venetians, capturing their ships and inter- 
rupting their commerce, in spite of admonitions, well understood to be 
insincere, from his own court. The determination attributed to him, 
of separating Naples from Spain and usurping the crown, may have 
been suggested to him by the feeble conduct of his own court in these 
very transactions ; but there is proof positive that, all through the early 
part of 1618, he committed various acts of hostilities against the Vene- 
tians, and neglected altogether to restore the prizes which he had tak- 
en at the end of the preceding year ; so that, on the one hand, it is im- 
possible to believe he was asking assistance from that state in a medi- 
tated revolt against his sovereign, and, on the other, perfectly natural 
to suppose, when his enterprising character is taken into consideration, 
that he meditated the acquisition of Venice and its dependent territo- 
ries, without much consideration of the justice or injustice of the act, 
or of the formal engagements of his own court. 



242 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

and held her for some moments to his heart. About half an 
hour after she heard the sound of horses' feet in the court-yard. 
She heard the gates thrown open, arid some persons ride out ; 
but Jacques Pierre she did not see again. The next morn- 
ing a party of the viceroy's guard surrounded her dwelling, 
and searched it diligently. Every room was examined. The 
gardens themselves did not pass unnoticed ; and she was strict- 
ly interrogated as to what had become of her husband. 

She could only answer that she knew not ; and she was 
then placed in a carriage and conveyed to the Castel Nuovo. 
There she was kept a prisoner, treated, it is true, with honor 
and distinction, but guarded carefully, and suffered to hold 
communication with none. 

In the mean time, Jacques Pierre, with a servant and a 
friend, rode on rapidly toward Rome, passed the frontiers of 
Naples, reached the eternal city, and, having remained there 
two or three days holding private communications with sev- 
eral persons of distinction, set out again for the Court of Sa- 
voy. At that court he was received with great honor by the 
duke, and, furnished by him with letters to the Senate of Ven- 
ice, commending highly to their notice his courage, activity, 
and military skill, he crossed the country, and reached the 
shores of the Adriatic in the month of August, 1617. 

What did Jacques Pierre seek at Venice ? This is one of 
those mysterious secrets which probably will never be devel- 
oped. Certain it is that he presented himself to the officers 
of the republic, and that, although there were many difficul- 
ties in the way of a foreigner seeking employment in the Ve- 
netian marine, whatever might be his merits and whatever 
his renown, Jacques Pierre obtained a command in the fleet, 
some say of one vessel, some say of two, and some of twelve. 
An ancient rule of the republic, it would seem, by which 
none but a noble Venetian was permitted to command one of 
its ships of war, was violated in favor of Jacques Pierre, and 
perhaps had been so likewise in other instances. Notwith- 
standing this appointment, Jacques Pierre remained at Ven- 
ice, and frequently, it would appear, visited the Spanish em- 
bassador, De la Cueva, in secret, and held long conferences 
with him. He visited, also, but more openly, the French 
embassador. Monsieur Bruslart de Leon. Many of his coun- 
trymen we."e at Venice at that time, and some Neapolitans 
and Roman/, with whom he was acquainted. Among the 
rest were two, one apparently a Neapolitan, named the Cap- 
tain Alexander Spinosa, the other a Frenchman, named Re- 



T H E C O N S P I R A C Y O F C U E V A. 243 

nault d'Arnaud. The first, it would appear, was an agent 
of the Duke of Ossuna, who had been in Venice for some 
time, a cunning, but vain man, whose objects in Venice are 
not easily ascertained. The second was a refugee from 
France, whom the French embassador and his brother char- 
acterize as a debauched, drunken gambler, a swindler, a rogue, 
"whose rogueries were known to all the world." Neverthe- 
less, this notorious person was apparently a favored visitor at 
the house of the embassador, and was often invited to dine at 
his table. With this man Jacques Pierre entered into some 
degree of intimacy, engaging him apparently as a scribe, and 
intending to employ him as a courier. 

During several succeeding months a number of Frenchmen 
and Savoyards took service with the Venetian government, 
and no disposition was shown to decrease their armaments. 
The town was full of foreigners, and Jacques Pierre seemed 
high in the favor of the Senate. He was consulted upon the 
changes proposed in their military marine, and furnished them, 
at their request, with a complete scheme for its better organ- 
ization.* All passed smoothly and quietly for many months ; 
and early in May, 1618, Jacques Pierre set out for the coast 
of Dalmatia with the Venetian fleet, while Renault prepared 
to depart for France, bearing dispatches from the celebrated 
corsair to the Duke of Nevers. 

The nature of these dispatches it may be as well to explain. 
The Duke of Nevers had some chimerical pretensions to the 
crown of the Eastern empire ; and he had often devised wild 
schemes for rousing the Greek population against the Turks, 
and making himself master of, at least, a part of the land, 
which at one time had been under the domination of his re- 
mote ancestors. For many years he had maintained a corre- 
spondence in the Morea, and, by his indiscreet conversation, 
had caused the death of several distinguished persons who 
had favored his views in Greece. Even to a very late period 
of his life he never laid aside his designs, and eagerly sought 
information from any one who could give him intelligence of 
the state of the Morea, and co-operation from all who could 

* Monsieur Daru would have us believe that Jacques Pierre occu- 
pied a very inferior station in the Venetian marine, at the pitiful pay 
of forty crowns a month. The very letters, however, of Monsieur Brus- 
lart, which he cites, show how high this officer was in the esteem of 
the Senate ; and they prove that Jacques Pierre could have no need to 
accept insignificant pay from the Venetian republic, as he had the means 
of furnishing Renault with two hundred crowns, to carry a dispatch for 
him into France. 



244 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

assist in his project. Communications had already taken 
place between himself and Jacques Pierre ; and the dispatch 
now sent by the hands of Renault contained a detailed plan 
for an invasion of the Turkish empire combined with an in- 
surrection of the people of Greece. 

' The state of Venice at the period which I mention, name- 
ly, the beginning of May, 1618, though not altogether one of 
profound peace, was, nevertheless, prosperous and happy. The 
death of the doge. Donate, in the early part of the year, after 
a reign of about one month, called Antonio Priuli to the ducal 
chair. But the newly-elected doge was at this time in Istria ; 
and, while he hastened to receive the honor conferred upon him, 
Venice was ruled by the vice-doge, the Senate, and the Coun- 
cil of Ten. Peace had been concluded between the Arch- 
duke Ferdinand and the republic of Venice, and between the 
Duke of Savoy and the Spanish government ; but war still 
subsisted in reality ; the stipulations of the treaties were not 
executed ; the fleets of the Duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Naples, 
infested the Adriatic, took the Venetian ships, and interrupt- 
ed the commerce of the republic ; and Don Pedro of Toledo, 
though indulging in no active enterprises against Savoy or 
Venice, still neglected the orders of his court to restore the 
town of Vercelli, or to abandon his hostile attitude toward the 
Venetians. The utmost possible enmity was displayed by the 
Duke of Ossuna toward the republic ; and the armaments 
which he prepared at Naples, comprising many vessels of small 
draughts of water, fitted to navigate the Lagunes, gave much 
apprehension to the Senate. It was generally reported too, 
and was undoubtedly the fact, that he had caused maps of 
Venice and its canals, and complete charts of the shallow seas 
around, to be made by his agents in the north, and transmitted 
to Naples. 

Bedomar, the Spanish embassador, was at this period in 
Venice. The French embassador was absent on a pilgrimage 
to Loretto, while his brother supplied his place. The former 
returned with the new doge, Priuli, who entered Venice, it 
would appear, on the 4th of June ; but, in the mean time, one 
of the most terrible tragedies had taken place to be found in 
the annals of history. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 245 



CHAPTER II. 
THE CONSPIRACY OP CUEVA. 

ALL was quiet in Venice. The nobles and the Senate 
were occupied in preparations for the reception of their new 
duke. The people, with whom he was an especial favorite, 
rejoiced over his election ; and all looked forward to the festivi- 
ties which would follow his arrival, with the satisfaction of a 
light-hearted and revel-loving people. But, on the night of 
the fourteenth of May, a dull rumor ran among the populace, 
that a terrible conspiracy had been discovered for the destruc- 
tion of the republic and the burning of the town. A great 
number of persons were said to have been apprehended ; and 
every one sought information, but no one could obtain it. The 
Senate seemed ignorant of the transaction ; the Council of 
Ten were mute ; but still numerous arrests took place. The 
lodgings of all strangers in the town were visited ; the inns 
and places of public entertainment were searched ; and it was 
soon ascertained that the public prisons were crowded by more 
than three hundred new tenants. The Inquisitors and the 
Council of Ten were busy from morning till night ; and the 
effects of their activity were soon seen. Several dead bodies 
were found hung upon gibbets in the place of St. Mark, and 
the waters of the canals bore up a number of corpsjes. 

Still the Council of Ten maintained the most profound si- 
lence ; but rumor gave out the details of the event as follows, 
before the twenty-second of the month. The famous Jacques 
Pierre, it was said, together with an engineer officer of the 
name of Langlade, who had accompanied him from Naples, 
a French officer of the name of Tournon, two brothers of the 
name of Desbouleaux, arid Renault d'Arnaud, had conspired 
together to introduce a number of foreign soldiers into the 
town, for the purpose of seizing upon it on the day of Ascen- 
sion. According to this rumor, their plan was to seize upon 
the place of St. Mark, the arsenal, the arms collected in the 
halls of the Council of Ten, and the treasuiy, to take posses- 
sion of all the principal avenues, to set fire to a part of the 
town, and, having obtained possession of the armed galley 
which lay opposite the palace, to use the artillery which it 



246 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

contained for the purpose of fortifying themselves in the prin- 
cipal positions they had taken. They were there to main- 
tain themselves as best they could till the arrival of the fleet 
of the Duke of Ossuna, which was already in the Adriatic, 
only waiting for intelligence to advance. Another fleet, it 
was said, had been prepared at Trieste and Fiume, for the 
purpose of capturing Marano. This tale was generally credit- 
ed among the Venetian people ; and it was reported that eight 
hundred strangers had fled from Venice, immediately after 
the first arrests had been made.* 

Although among the bodies of the dead which were found 
there were several Venetians, yet the greater part were rec- 
ognized as Frenchmen. Nevertheless, every rumor pointed 
to the Spanish government as the authors of the conspiracy ; 
and the populace in fury menaced the house of De la Cueva, 
and insulted the Frenchmen who ventured into the streets. 

Nor were the sanguinary executions confined to Venice. 
Many of the strong places of the republic witnessed the same 
sanguinary deeds. The engineer Langlade was ill at Zara, 
and attended by a servant and a page. Suddenly the house 
was invested by a company of arquebusiers. Langlade was 
dragged from his bed, the servant and the page were seized, 
and all three shot down, as soon as they were brought out, 
without examination, trial, or confession. 

But what became of Jacques Pierre ? He had sailed away 
from Venice with the fleet, honored, and apparently content- 
ed with the distinction he received from the republic. His 
only cause of anxiety or regret seems to have been the deten- 
tion of his fair wife in Naples ; but we find that he consoled 
himself, from day to day, with the hope of her liberation, 
though we know not that he had any good foundation for 
such an expectation. The fleet was lying off the coast of 
Dalmatia, watching, it would appear, for the ships of the 
Duke of Ossuna, when a quick sailing galliot arrived from 
Venice, and an officer went on board the admiral's ship. 
Shortly after a signal was made for Jacques Pierre to come 
on board, which he immediately obeyed, accompanied by one 
servant and the rowers of his barge. There is reason to be- 
lieve that a council was then held, and that the opinion of 
the famous corsair was asked upon several points. As soon 
as he returned to the deck, however, rude hands were laid 
upon him ; and the fatal preparations that he saw gave the 

* Such is the report made to his government by the brother of the 
French ambassador, then supplying his place, on the 22d of May, 1618. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 247 

first intimation that his death was determined. He wished 
to speak ; but they would not hear him. He asked a con- 
fessor ; but they would not grant him one. The fatal cord 
was twined round his neck, and after a brief struggle the 
body was put into a sack and cast into the sea.* 

It has never been known how many persons were secretly 
executed ; but the general belief is, that more than three 
hundred perished either by the cord or by the water, f 

As the accusations of the Spanish government became 
more generally spread among the people, the popular rage 
was excited to the highest point. The house of the embassa- 
dor was threatened with pillage, and his person was certainly 
in danger. 

De la Cueva presented himself before the vice-doge and 
College, to demand ^protection ; and if the formal account of 
his audience, rendered by the doge to the resident of the re- 
public in Milan, can be trusted, he somewhat forgot his dig- 
nity and pride in the fear which possessed him. Although 
neither the Senate, nor the College, nor the Council of Ten, 
had brought any charge against him, nor. indeed, had com- 
municated to any one, up to that time, the particulars of the 
conspiracy, he defended himself almost as if he were upon his 
trial, declaring that he had refused even to listen to several 
foreigners, who had wished to speak with him on matters of 
importance ; but he acknowledged a fact of much significance, 
namely, that rumors had reached him, from time to time, that 
the strangers with which the town was filled were accustom- 
ed to talk rashly among themselves in public places, saying 
that they could do such and such things if they liked. He 
protested, however, that he had never listened to these men 
himself. 

The vice-doge and his council heard him in cold silence, 
gave him no explanation whatever, neither accused nor ex- 
culpated him, and merely replied that the council would con- 
sider his application, and send him an answer. He then ve- 
hemently renewed his demand for protection against the peo- 

* I have chosen what seems to me the most probable account of the 
death of this celebrated and unfortunate man. Some say that he was 
placed in the sack still living; but in the letters of the French chan- 
cery it is stated that he was first strangled. 

t Forty-five persons were drowned at the time of the execution of 
Jacques Pierre, and two hundred and sixty were executed on land, ac- 
cording to a cotemporary manuscript account of the proceedings, of 
which two copies exist, one in Paris, the other at Venice. The author 
is unknown. 



248 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

pie, and quitted the hall. On the 27th of May he wrote to 
the Senate, and demanded another audience. The vice-doge 
received him as before ; and he once more broke out into ve- 
hement protestations of his innocence, admitting that those 
who had been executed were culpable, especially one who had 
been put to death the day before, but whom he does not name. 
He reiterated, also, his application for protection, and retired, 
after receiving a very brief answer, merely assuring him that 
means had been taken to secure the peace of the town. He 
remained rather more than a fortnight in Venice after this au- 
dience, and then, pretending that he had received an invita- 
tion to Milan, quitted the capital of the republic never to re- 
turn. We do not find that he took any formal leave of the 
doge or the Senate, but, nevertheless, the resident at Milan 
was directed not only to watch his conduct, but to pay him a 
visit of ceremony, showing the great reluctance which the 
government of Venice had to charge him publicly with a di- 
rect share in the conspiracy. The resident, however, as well 
as the embassador from Venice at the court of Spain, had 
distinct intimation that he had fomented that conspiracy ; but 
the latter, though furnished with all the particulars, and or- 
dered to demand the recall of Bedomar in a personal audience 
of the King of Spain, was directed " to keep to general terms, 
limiting himself to stating that motives of great gravity had 
determined the council to adopt the measures whicli it had 
taken." This letter to the Venetian embassador in Spain is 
dated the 2d of July, 1618 ; and this is the first occasion on 
which we find the Senate distinctly charging De la Cueva 
with taking part in a plot against the town ; but the charge 
thus made fully justifies the application of the name which 
has been usually given to these transactions, namely, The con- 
spiracy of Bedomar. 

In this sad transaction, as I have stated, more than three 
hundred persons lost their lives. A great number were tor- 
tured in the most frightful manner, and still more were either 
strangled in their dungeons or secretly drowned. For some 
time after the discovery executions continued ; but the deep 
mystery with which the Council of Ten enveloped all their 
proceedings, and concealed the evidence upon which they act- 
ed, caused doubts to arise in the minds of many persons as to 
the existence of a conspiracy at ail. A controversy afterward 
arose as to the cause of these saiiguiuary executions ; and peo- 
ple, as is common in controversies, forgot the guidance of com- 
mon sense, somewhat deviated from plain and straightforward 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 249 

truth, and corrupted or misinterpreted evidence, in order to 
support the view which each had taken. I shall now exam- 
ine into the simple facts which are known, and briefly discuss 
the systems which have been raised upon them, without any 
hope of being able satisfactorily to explain all the dark points 
in one of the most obscure transactions on record, but perfect- 
ly certain of being able to show that the last hypothesis which 
has been put forward (that of the Count Daru) has not the 
slightest foundation in fact. 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 

THERE are many transactions in the history of states or of 
individuals in regard to which motives of policy or of shame 
require all evidence to be suppressed, as far as possible. Such 
was the case in regard to the execution of an immense num- 
ber of people at Venice in 1618. It must be remarked, how- 
ever, that secrecy was an immemorial part of the police sys- 
tem at Venice, and that, in most instances, the denunciation, 
the trial, and the execution took place in secret. Especial 
care, however, seems to have been employed on the present 
occasion to prevent any of the particulars transpiring for some 
months, and especial motives may be easily discovered for 
such conduct. Peace had just been concluded with the house 
of Austria ; the resources of the republic had been greatly di- 
minished by the necessity of paying large subsidies to the 
Duke of Savoy during the war ; the Dutch troops in the serv- 
ice of Venice were in a very mutinous state ; France and 
Spain were on more friendly terms than had existed between 
them for many years ; and boldly to accuse the Spanish em- 
bassador of so horrible a crime as conspiring against the peace 
and safety of a friendly city, and engaging a band of despera- 
does to fire and plunder it, must inevitably have brought on 
a war with one and probably with both branches of the house 
of Austria. Venice would have seen herself, under such cir- 
cumstances, without any efficient allies, and her utter ruin 
must have been the consequence. It is easy to understand, 
therefore, that, however culpable the Spanish embassador 

t 2 



250 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

might be, it was necessary to act with the greatest possible 
discretion in demanding his recall, and to suppress every thing 
which might appear like a scandalous charge against the 
crown of Spain. 

The public documents which remain regarding this trans- 
action are exceedingly few, and their information scanty. 
They divide themselves into two classes : those of which the 
authenticity is undoubted, and those which are not proved to 
be authentic. The first class comprises a number of letters 
of the Senate and the doge to the Venetian resident at Milan, 
and the reports of the Council of Ten, which were forwarded 
to him for his private information, together with the corre- 
spondence of Bruslart, the French embassador, with his court. 
That these documents were written by the parties to whom 
they are attributed, there is, I believe, no doubt ; but that 
the writers were always sincere in the views expressed, or ac- 
curate in regard to the facts stated, is another question, and 
may be doubtful. 

The documents, respecting the authenticity of which we 
have no very distinct proof, but which yet are worthy of much 
attention, are three in number. The first is called a summary 
of the conspiracy,* and contains a long account of the denun- 
ciation of the plot, the examinations of the conspirators, the 
tortures to which they were subjected, their execution, and 
the precautions taken by the republic. The author is un- 
known, and the account differs materially from that given 
by the Council of Ten, on the 16th of September and the 
17th of October, and transmitted to the resident at Milan 
soon after. The compilation,' therefore, can not be looked 
upon as an authorized report ; but, nevertheless, it contains 
many statements confirmed by other evidence. The next is 
a letter from Jacques Pierre to the Duke of Ossuna, dated the 
7th of April, 1618. A copy exists at Paris, and another is to 
be found in the library of the Camaldolites of St. Michael, 
near Venice. The authenticity of this paper has not been 
proved, but the style is perfectly similar to that of other let- 
ters of Jacques Pierre which are known to be genuine ; the 
details are in complete accordance with many known facts, 
and are so minute and particular that the slightest error would 
be discoverable, and betray the fabrication ; and the authen- 
ticity is, moreover, confirmed by several facts which appear 
accidentally in the reports of the Council of Ten. The letter 

* Sommario della congiura fatta contro la serenissima republica di 
Venezia. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 251 

is long and comprehensive. It refers to several transactions 
between the writer and the Duke of Ossuria, and to the in- 
trigues then going on in Venice ; and it contains a complete 
and well-organized plan for surprising that city, and giving it 
up to the troops of the viceroy. Though the authenticity is 
not proved upon irrefragable evidence, and although the de- 
signs implied seem inconsistent with known facts, yet I can 
not doubt that the epistle was written by Jacques Pierre, arid 
am inclined to believe that Monsieur Daru only doubted the 
genuineness because the letter was totally opposed to the 
hypothesis he had formed. 

The third class of doubtful documents consists of the min- 
utes of the information given by Jacques Pierre, at various 
times, to the Venetian government, regarding the designs of 
the Duke of Ossuna and the Marquis of Bedomar against the 
town. These minutes were inclosed by the French embassa- 
dor to his government, after the discovery of the conspiracy, 
with a view of proving that no conspiracy existed. r He states, 
at the same time, that the information was given by Jacques 
Pierre about ten months before, and that he, Monsieur Brus- 
lart, was cognizant of the fact. It is to be remarked, how- 
ever, that these papers are not in the handwriting of Jacques 
Pierre, but in that of Renault d' Arnaud, qualified as a drunk- 
ard, a gambler, and a swindler ; and that they are only au- 
thenticated by the testimony of the French embassador, who 
does not say how they carne into his possession. It can not 
escape attention either, as a most extraordinary and unac- 
countable fact, ^hat Monsieur Bruslart should have known for 
ten long months the design of the Duke of Ossuna upon Ven- 
ice, and yet should never have communicated such important 
intelligence to his own government till after the discovery in 
May, 1618. That these last documents were originally really 
written by Jacques Pierre, I very much doubt. 

Such, then, are the historical sources from which we have 
to form our opinion of the various accounts which have been 
given of this obscure and terrible transaction. I will now 
proceed to examine the views put forth by various parties re- 
garding the conspiracy, passing over very lightly the most 
famous account of the conspiracy which has appeared, name- 
ly, that of St. Pveal, inasmuch as it is evidently founded upon 
the Italian summary of the conspiracy which I have men- 
tioned, with various alterations and embellishments, -wherein 
ornament has been considered more than truth. 

The first account of the conspiracy which I shall consider 



252 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

is that given by the Venetian government itself ; and, as more 
and more information w^s communicated to its diplomatic 
agents at various times, it will be necessary to mark the period 
at which each communication took place. 

Within a very short time after the first arrests were made 
and the executions commenced, it has been seen that rumors 
spread among the people regarding the object of the detected 
conspiracy, and the parties implicated. These rumors were 
transmitted to the French government by Monsieur Broussin 
on the 22d of May, 1618. Nevertheless, the Council of Ten 
maintained the most profound silence, and proceeded with the 
work of butchery in darkness and in secret. There is not the 
slightest trace of their having communicated the particulars 
of the conspiracy, or the evidence upon which they acted, to 
the Senate, to the vice-doge, or to any of the diplomatic agents. 
The first hint of the -complicity of Bedomar in the transactions 
which had given occasion for such frightful executions is con- 
tained in a letter from the three inquisitofs of state to the 
Venetian resident at Milan, on the 6th of June, 1618. On 
the llth of the same month, a letter from the doge to the 
same personage (Vincenti) makes the charge distinctly. Pri- 
uli says, " It appears clearly from these proceedings that the 
embassador of the Catholic king resident with us had a great 
part in this scheme, and he can not himself deny it." 

An account is then given of the interviews I have men- 
tioned between Bedomar and the Senate. Although the let- 
ter of the Senate, dated the 2d of July, to the Venetian em- 
bassador in Spain, directing him to demand the recall of Bedo- 
mar, undoubtedly contained the Venetian version of the whole 
transaction, a copy of the statement then sent has not come 
down to us. We only know that the Senate ordered the em- 
bassador to communicate with the king in person, to use the 
utmost discretion, and to avoid most scrupulously making any 
charge against the Spanish people or crown 'which could give 
even a pretext for offense, but at the same time firmly, though 
respectfully, to demand the recall of De la Cueva. A letter 
from the doge, on the 20th of July, announces that Bedomar 
had been recalled.* On the 31st of July and the 16th of 

* Monsieur Daru concludes, from the date of this letter, that the re- 
call of Bedomar could not have been occasioned by the application of 
the Senate. This does not appear to me to be perfectly clear. Twen- 
ty-six days had elapsed since the application had been made ; and it 
does not appear impossible that even an ordinary courier should per- 
form the journey to Madrid and back in the given time. The matter, 
however, is not of very great importance. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 253 

September we have two reports made by the Council of Ten. 
The first of these only touches generally on the designs against 
the town of Venice, but enters particularly into the details of 
a plot for the surprise of the town of Crema, which was to 
have been executed at the same time with the attempt upon 
Venice. It accuses Don Pedro, of Toledo, in concert with the 
Marquis of Bedomar, of having seduced the foreign soldiery 
in the pay of Venice,* and states that the plot at Crema had 
been discovered by one of the soldiers of the garrison, who, 
struck with terror on hearing of the executions in Venice, con- 
fessed the whole. The report of the Council of Ten, on the 
16th of September, is a further exposition of the Venetian 
view of the case. It states that a Frenchman, who had not 
taken part in the plot, but who had heard the designs of the 
conspirators, had revealed them to the Venetian government, 
without any promise of reward or even any security for his. 
own life ; and it declares that his information had been con- 
firmed by the confession of the culprits under the torture, and 
by a letter from one of the conspirators to the Duke of Ossuna, 
found in the valise of a person condemned, together with a 
letter of recommendation to the viceroy, written by the Span- 
ish embassador. " The writer complains," says the report, 
speaking of the former letter, " that a favorable occasion has 
been lost," which is exactly similar to a passage in the letter 
of Jacques Pierre, before mentioned. The report then goes 
on to state that this was not the only proof of the conspiracy 
which had been obtained. A person of quality and judgment 
in the service of the republic, and who perfectly understood 
the French language, had been concealed in a place where 
the conspirators met, and heard the whole of their conversa- 
tion. The same person had moreover seen, the report states, 
in the house of the embassador, a number of letters from the 
Duke of Ossuna, some addressed to De la Cueva himself, some 
to one of his intimates charged with the direction of the plot. 
It was this latter personage, the council asserts, who wrote the 
intercepted letter above mentioned . The report then proceeds 
to state that the discoveries made at Crema had thrown great 
light upon the proceedings of the.conspirators at Venice, and 

* The words are " in the course of the last months." The report is 
dated on the 31st of July, and Monsieur Daru very unfairly asks how' 
the embassador could seduce the soldiers in the month of June, when 
the conspiracy was discovered, at the latest, on the 14th of May ? He 
does not remark that the word months is in the plural, and is a com- 
pletely vague expression, which might apply to any two or three 
months before. 



254 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

that orders had been sent to the captain general to put to 
death Jacques Pierre and Langlade with as little publicity 
as possible, ample proofs of their crimes having been obtained 
after their departure for the fleet. 

The most full and important of all these documents, how- 
ever, is a letter of the doge to the resident at Milan, dated 
the 19th of October, 1618, and containing a report made by 
the Council of Ten on the 17th of the same month. The 
letter states that some foreign courts had been led to believe 
that the accounts of the conspiracy which had been discov- 
ered at Venice were without foundation ; and it directs the 
resident to refute these insinuations, and to sustain the fact 
and the necessity of the measures taken by his government. 
He is enjoined, however, on no occasion to begin the subject, 
always to lay the blame upon ministers, and never to mix the 
names of princes with the question. The new report of the 
Council of Ten is inclosed, probably for his own information. 
That most important 'document makes the following state- 
ments: 

" In the month of March last, a Frenchman from the prov- 
ince of Languedoc, named Montcassiri, of the age of about 
thirty years, of respectable birth, a man of courage, enterprise, 
and of a shrewd mind, came to Venice. 

" He obtained from the council a military employment, and 
offered to raise a company of three hundred French musket- 
eers. A few days after, the Captain Jacques Pierre, one of 
the chiefs of the conspiracy, having arrived, imagined that 
this Montcassin, who passed for a clever man, might be use- 
ful in the execution of the evil designs which he, Jacques 
Pierre, meditated." 

The report then goes on to state that Jacques Pierre en- 
tered into conversation with Montcassin in the Church of St. 
Mark, caressed him greatly, asked him to dinner, made him 
sleep at his house, and ultimately revealed his project to him, 
after having sworn him to secrecy. He used many argu- 
ments to induce him to quit the service of the republic, showed 
how slow it was in promoting officers, how little satisfaction 
it had given to foreigners in its service, and added, that it was 
a miracle that the town had escaped being taken by surprise 
long before. He ridiculed the Venetians exceedingly on ac- 
count of their want of military qualities, and declared that, in 
Turkey, he had once executed a similar enterprise without the 
loss of a single man. He, with some of his companions, sub- 
sequently led Montcassin to the top of the Tower of St. Mark, 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 255 

showed him the two channels which communicated with the 
deep sea, and declared that he could bring a vessel up to the 
very Square of St. Mark. He, moreover, remarked, that in 
Venice more honors were given to a lackey than to a soldier, 
and told his companion, that although the Venetians had now 
some troops in the forts, where formerly there were none, they 
were the merest scum. He declared that he had demanded 
money of the Spanish enibassador for the purpose of introduc- 
ing foreign soldiers into the forts, besides the thirty or forty 
who were there already, and that the embassador had prom- 
ised him more than he had asked. Jacques Pierre also insti- 
gated Montcassin to write to Naples that they should render 
the imprisonment of his wife more strict, and make much noise 
about this severity, in order to better conceal the projects 
agreed upon. The corsair then developed his whole plan for 
the surprise of the town. The Duke of Ossuna was to send 
him two or three galleons, with five hundred picked men. As 
soon as they were within sixty miles of Venice, a felucca would 
be dispatched to give him notice of their approach. The first 
favorable night would be chosen for the ships to get in shore 
as far as possible ; the conspirators would then take arms and 
set fire to the town in various places, in order to distract the 
people, while Langlade burst open the gates of the arsenal 
with a petard. The mint was also to be seized ; and the con- 
spirators, divided into three battalions, were to cover the dis- 
embarkation of the troops, and maintain their ground in the 
town in expectation of news from the garrison of a place, the 
name of which is omitted.* 

Various other conversations between Jacques Pierre, Lang- 
lade, and Montcassin are recapitulated in the report, from 
which it appeared that the intention of the conspirators was 
to seize the Palace of the Council of Ten, to massacre all the 
members, to attack the armory, to set fire to the arsenal, to 
take possession of the Place of St. Mark and the Rialto, and 

* The plan laid out in the letter attributed to Jacques Pierre is a much 
more formidable affair than this wild and hopeless scheme developed 
by Moutcassin, who, it would appear, was only partially informed. His 
means were to have been five thousand men, whom he had either se- 
duced among the Dutch troops, or gathered together from different 
parts in Venice and its neighborhood, together with the whole mass of 

Erisoners in the city, who were to be liberated and armed ; the cannon 
om the arsenal and the armed galleys were to be put in requisition, 
and barricades erected at every defensible point. With these, he 
thought, he should be able to hold the town till the arrival of the troops 
of the viceroy from Naples. 



256 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

to point all the cannon which could be obtained upon the 
town. The pillage of the place was to be given up to the con- 
spirators, and the town itself to the Duke of Ossuna, who, as 
soon as he heard that the attempt was successful, was to send 
forward twenty-five or thirty galleys filled with armed men, 
which were to follow the galleons at a considerable distance, 
waiting for the signal. 

Shortly after these conversations, Montcassin left Venice for 
a time ; and during his absence the existence of a plot, with 
some of the particulars, was communicated to Nicholas Donato 
by a letter written in Italian, spelled in the French manner. 
In the middle of the month of April Montcassin returned, and 
took up his abode at an inn called the Trumpet, where an- 
other officer lodged, named Balthazar Juven. Montcassin im- 
mediately determined to gain his brother officer to the con- 
spiracy ; and, after some hesitation and various precautions to 
insure his secrecy, he took him to the house of Jacques Pierre, 
where they found assembled Langlade, Renault, two brothers 
(Charles and John Boleo, otherwise Desbouleaux). a soldier 
named Colombe, and John Berard, of the garrison of Crema. 
Here Jacques Pierre, Montcassin, and Juven, going apart from 
the others, conversed over the plot, in which Juven refused to 
take part, unless they communicated the whole to him, and 
gave him a copy of their plan of action. This being accord- 
ingly done, Juven determined to reveal the whole, and applied 
to a nobleman, named Bollani, to obtain an audience of the 
Senate. Pretending to have some business to transact with 
that body in regard to his company, he persuaded Montcassin 
to accompany him to the palace. As they entered the grand 
hall, Montcassin, apparently alarmed, asked his companion 
where they were going. 

" I am going," replied Juven, " to ask permission of the 
doge to set fire to the arsenal and the mint, and to give up 
Crema to the Spaniards." 

He, however, comforted his pale and trembling companion, 
by telling him he would inform the doge that he, Montcassin, 
came also to reveal what he knew ; and he then left him in* 
the outer hall, watched by Mark Bollani and several other per- 
sons. Juven then went before the doge* and made his depo- 
sition in form, after which he went back to Crem/i. Mont- 
cassin eagerly applied to make his deposition also before the 
inquisitors of state, which was permitted ; and now an im- 

* It would appear that this was in the time of the short reign of a 
month of Nicolas Donato. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 25*' 

mense mass of information was obtained, especially regarding 
the participation of the Spanish embassador in the plot, and 
of the proceedings of one of his friends and confidants, named 
Robert Buccilardo, of Bergamo, in whose hands were all the 
threads of the conspiracy, and who conducted the correspond- 
ence with the Duke of Ossuna. It appeared that this Buc- 
cilardo and Jacques Pierre had been very active together in 
stirring up a mutiny among the Dutch troops ; and Montcas- 
sin offered to put Buccilardo and all his papers into the hands 
of the government, by bringing him to a house where the con- 
spirators met ; but Buccilardo was upon his guard, and made 
his escape. Montcassin, however, succeeded in concealing an 
agent of the government in a place where he could hear and 
see the whole proceedings of the conspirators at one of their 
meetings. The report then gives a summary of what had 
been discovered from the various declarations, in the following 
words : 

" A project, which was believed to be of easy execution, was 
concerted at Naples, between the Duke of Ossuna and others, 
for the purpose of surprising this capital, with two thousand 
picked men, brought hither in four galleons. These galleons 
were to be apparently charged with bulky merchandise, and 
to have letters for various merchants. Under the coverings 
placed to keep the merchandise from the air, the soldiers were 
to keep themselves concealed during the day. At night they 
were to issue forth, under the port of Malamocco, take pos- 
session of some boats, and land, a part in the Square of St. 
Mark, part at the arsenal, five hundred on the canal of Mu- 
rano, part upon the bridges, part before the houses on the 
grand canal ; five hundred were to be posted on the bridge 
of the Rialto, and barricade themselves there, taking posses- 
sion of the neighboring houses. Of the five hundred remain- 
ing, three hundred were to continue drawn up in the square, 
and two hundred to render themselves masters of the palace 
and the public offices. They said they had two or three hund- 
red determined men, whose business it was to seize upon the 
principal personages of the town. In the mean time the 
twenty galleys of the Duke of Ossuna were to be held near 
enough to give aid. 

" The enterprise was to have been attempted in the month 
of March, or in October or November. The duke had prom- 
ised liberty and a pecuniary reward to the galley slaves if they 
brought the ships hither ; and, as they had expressed some 
doubts as to there being depth enough of water, it was arranged 



258 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

that each -galley should be accompanied by four barges and 
four armed boats, which could place themselves on the canals 
in such a manner that one part of the town could not send 
aid to the other. They were to seize upon all the barges and 
gondolas, break down the bridges, and forbid the inhabitants 
to appear out of their houses, assuring them that there was 
no design against either their persons or their property, and 
that the King of Spain took them under his protection, would 
maintain their ancient liberty, and deliver them from oppres- 
sion. The same promises were to be made to the nobility, 
assuring them that the king would only confer offices of state 
upon the patricians, arid that those offices would be rendered 
more lucrative. This being done, the conspirators proposed to 
ring the bell which convokes the great council and the Senate, 
in order that all the members of those assemblies should come 
and swear fidelity to the king. The poor nobles were to be 
gained by fine words, and by holding out to them hopes of 
aggrandizement. As to the principal patricians, such as the 
doge, the procurators, the counselors, and the senators, it was 
intended to arrest them. Barges had been prepared at Na- 
ples with which they could pass through all the waters of 
Venice, according to the advice of that Dominic, who, they 
say, was formerly in prison at Barletta, a man of determina- 
tion, at present pilot to one of the principal ships of the Duke 
of Ossuna. The fleet and the duke himself in person were to 
seize upon the different forts." 

The report goes on to say, that all these .projects were de- 
vised at Naples in the month of January last. The words 
which follow are of great importance to a right understanding 
of the case. " This is proved," says the report, " by the letters 
of a Burgundian, named Laurent Pola, one of the emissaries 
sent for this purpose, who, on the 5th and 10th of January, 
wrote letters addressed to a Monsieur Given,* and found upon 
a certain Charles de Boleo (Desbouleaux). He uses fictitious 
names and forms agreed upon ; but before his death (this 
must mean the death of Desbouleaux), he confessed that by 
the name of Peter he understood the Duke of Ossuna to be 
meant, and that Captain Briardo and Jacques Pierre, having 
revealed this impious plot at the moment it was about to break 
out Robert, in his letter to the Duke of Ossuna, of the 1 3th 
of March, deplored the loss of an opportunity.t (This letter, 

* Probably Juven. 

t There seems to be a considerable part of this sentence, or more than 
one sentence omitted. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 259 

with another from the embassador, has been found in a box 
of the brothers Boleo (Desbouleaux), as we have already said 
in another report.) He expresses his regret that they had 
not profited by the time during which Laurent was dispatch- 
ed to Naples." 

The report then goes on to mention some other transactions, 
by which the wild designs of the Duke of Ossuna against va- 
rious parts of the Venetian territories had been discovered 
some time before, and which show that, notwithstanding the 
existence of peace between Spain and Venice, the Viceroy of 
Naples and the Venetian government were still carrying on 
active warfare against each other, he capturing their ships 
and carrying them to Naples, and they treating his officers as 
pirates, and putting them to death when- taken, inasmuch as 
his conduct was disavowed by his government. An account 
is then added of the conspiracy of Crema, much in the same 
terms as those employed before, only that the names of John 
Fournier and John Berard are given as those of the principal 
conspirators. The report adds, that all the guilty parties, 
with a few exceptions, had been put to death, that Montcas- 
siri had been sent to Candia with a pension from the govern- 
ment, and that Balthazar Juven, with his wife and four 
Frenchmen, had been set at liberty. 

Such is the account of this conspiracy, as given by the Ve- 
netian government to one of its diplomatic agents, about five 
months after the event to which it refers. There does not 
Beem to me to be any thing the least improbable in the state- 
ment, unless it be that the Duke of Ossuna should entertain 
BO rash a project, and trust its execution to the hands of such 
persons. But it must be remarked, that the Viceroy of Na- 
ples by some means established for himself such a character 
for daring and ill-digested designs, that even rasher and more 
extensive projects have been very generally attributed to him, 
to be carried out by means still less sufficient for the end. 
Again, it is to be remarked, that if the Venetian statement 
is true, De la Cueva, who was on the spot, was in a position 
to direct and govern the inferior persons employed, and, there- 
fore, the scheme was not so rash, or so unlikely to be success- 
ful, as it at first appears. 

Had the plain statement of the Venetian government been 
generally published at the time, or before St. Real had em- 
bellished the conspiracy with a number of false facts, and 
given it an air of romance, I do not believe any doubts would 
now exist as to the reality of the plot, although some circum- 



260 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

stances have been since discovered which we can not easily 
account for, and upon which the Count Daru has raised a 
hypothesis perfectly unsustainable. 

Before examining that hypothesis, however, I will endeavor 
to show in what points the statement of the Venetian govern- 
ment is supported by those cotemporaries who labored the 
most diligently to prove there was no conspiracy at all. 

The first who expresses a doubt of the existence of a con- 
spiracy is Monsieur Broussin, who acted as charge d'affaires 
during the French embassador's absence. He says, " Many 
people believe that there is no truth in this affair, and look 
upon the execution of the alleged enterprise as impossible." 
But what does he report to his government, not as a state- 
ment made to him by the Venetian officers, but upon his own 
authority ? " This conspiracy has got such hold of their 
brains, that, from that day, the Council of Ten (who take 
cognizance of the most important affairs of the republic) and 
the three inquisitors of state have worked at it continually, 
and, having sent for the register of the names of strangers 
lodging in this town, have verified the flight of more than 
eight hundred since the day when these miserable men were 
taken, which serves as a great proof of some design against 
this town. Lately, also, Maradan, general of the Austrians, 
has come down upon the frontier of the states of these lords, 
with more than three thousand men, at a time when, on ac- 
count of the expectation of the conclusion of the dissensions 
regarding the Uscoques, he ought rather to have marched 
away."* 

The next person who throws doubt upon the story of the 
conspiracy is Monsieur Bruslart, the French embassador him- 
self, who, from the moment of his return, about three weeks 
after the first executions, labors hard to prove that there was 
no conspiracy at all. Apparently not knowing the contents 
of his brother's dispatches during his absence, he boldly denies 
that a single man had fled from Venice ; but, with regard to 
his reasons for doubting the existence of a conspiracy, and es- 
pecially for believing the innocence of Jacques Pierre, I shall 
have to make some observations hereafter, and will confine 
myself here to what he says confirmatory of the views taken 
by the Venetians. In a letter of the 3d of July, 1618, he 
states that the brothers Desbouleaux had been seized, with 

* I have given a bold and almost literal translation of these passages, 
lest I should be accused of corrupting the text, as others have not scru- 
pled to do. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEV A. 261 

a letter of recommendation from the Spanish enibassador to 
the Duke of Ossuna. He also states, in the same letter, that 
two Frenchmen, Montcassin and La Combe (probably La Co- 
lombe), whom he calls vagabonds, had accused the brothers 
Desbouleaux, and caused them, to be seized, with the letter 
of the Spanish embassador upon them. Then follows a very 
obscure passage, in which it is difficult to understand of whom 
he is speaking. I understand him, however, to mean the 
brothers Desbouleaux, when he says, " I am of opinion that, 
upon the retreat of these two, who were going back to Naples, 
the Venetians entertained a suspicion that all the others of 
their cabal would do the same : joined to that, that sometimes 
among themselves they discoursed inconsiderately upon this 
enterprise, trusting that they had the liberty of speaking upon 
it, on account of having discovered it." 

In the same and several other letters, he speaks more than 
once of Montcassin' s revelations to the Venetian government, 
and of his intention of coming to see him, the French embas- 
sador. He promises to draw as much information from him 
as he can, and to reproach him bitterly for his conduct ; but 
Montcassin, it appears, did not think fit to come, and was 
sent to Candia, which Monsieur Broussin looks upon as a 
proof that the Venetians knew he could not sustain his charges. 
On the other hand, the Council of Ten declare that they sent 
him to Candia to be out of the way of dangers which menaced 
him ; and, indeed, the threats of Monsieur Broussin toward 
Montcassin show that this apprehension was not altogether 
groundless. From these letters, however, it appears that the 
account of the Venetian government is confirmed even by the 
French in two points, the revelations of Montcassin, and the 
flight of a great number of strangers from Venice. If the 
letter attributed to Jacques Pierre, and addressed to the Duke 
of Ossuna, is authentic, no doubt can exist of the conspiracy ; 
and it is to be remarked, that great coincidence may be found 
between several parts of that letter and the report of the 
Council of Ten in regard to the dispatch of Laurent Nola to 
the Duke of Ossuna. Monsieur Bruslart, indeed, never men- 
tions that letter, nor touches upon the Burgundian, Laurent 
Nola, at all ; but he warmly defends the character of Jacques 
Pierre, and insinuates, more than once, that he .was put to 
death in order to give satisfaction to the Sublime Porte, 
against which power all the early efforts of his arms had been 
directed, and against which he was preparing new expedi- 
tions in concert with the Duke of Nevers. It may be that 



262 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

these schemes of the corsair were chimerical ; it may be that 
France and Savoy only gave them a temporary and unsub- 
stantial encouragement for purposes of their own ; but cer- 
tain it is that Jacques Pierre and the Duke of Nevers both 
entertained them, and that the written plans which he sent 
to the duke fell into the hands of the Venetian government, 
when the papers of Renault d' Arnaud were seized and exam- 
ined. Monsieur Bruslart was not alone in his opinion that 
Jacques Pierre was sacrificed to the vengeance of the Porte, 
for there are many letters and papers extant in which the 
same idea is hazarded. But let us examine, first, what are 
the reasons the French embassador publicly gave for doubt- 
ing the existence of a conspiracy at all, and next, upon what 
evidence he exculpated Jacques Pierre from all share in it, if 
it did exist. 

In a public audience of the doge which took place shortly 
before the 19th of July, 1618, Monsieur Bruslart received a 
notification from the Venetian prince that the French govern- 
ment had made use of language, in regard to the conspiracy, 
little in accordance with the friendly relations between the 
two countries, evidently imputing to him unfavorable reports 
to the ministry of the French monarch. 

To this reproach, Monsieur Bruslart assures his government, 
he replied in a long, elaborate, and very artful speech, placing 
the doubts of the conspiracy, which he himself entertained, in 
the mouth of other French gentlemen, who had been in Ven- 
ice at the time, which he himself had not been. He pointed 
out, among other things, that these French gentlemen had 
spread abroad, that the Duke of Ossuna had no other forces 
in the Venetian Gulf than fifteen galleons in a very bad state 
at Brindisi,* while the Venetian armament kept the seas ; 
that the two Desbouleaux, when they were taken, were re- 
tiring to Naples, discontented with Jacques Pierre and Re- 
nault, and having a letter of recommendation from the Span- 
ish embassador ; that they were accused by a person named 
Montcassin, who went with the younger of the two to the 
said embassador's to receive that letter ; and that it was not 
at all likely that, when they were on such bad terms with 
each other, they should unite to execute so damnable a con- 
spiracy ; tljat Renault was going to France with a French 
passport, and actually on the point of setting out with letters 
and memoirs written to the Duke of Nevers by Jacques 

* Let it be remembered that Brindisi is not in the Venetian Gulf at 
all, although the French embassador places it there. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 263 

Pierre, who had paid him two hundred ducats for his journey, 
Jacques Pierre being at the same time alone, with none but 
his domestic servants, in the galley of the admiral, and Lan- 
glade at Zara, with one soldier, and a young boy who served 
him ; and that there was no probability of their being able, 
while thus separated, to execute in four days so important and 
difficult an enterprise. He moreover stated, that these (ficti- 
tious) French gentlemen had remarked that it was a marvel- 
ous thing the conduct and execution of a design formed by so 
powerful a hand as was said should be intrusted to such fee- 
ble instruments and so small a number of men ; and that it 
was very strange, as the conspiracy originated entirely with 
Spaniards, who had so many partisans in Italy, no one should 
have taken any part therein but these five miserable French- 
men and two or three of their servants ; that no forces which 
could create alarm had appeared either within or without the 
town, and that no arms, offensive or defensive, had been 
found ; that the manner in which Jacques Pierre and Lan- 
glade had been put to death, without giving them time to 
speak, caused doubts, as it was natural to suppose that the 
Venetian government would have sought to draw from them 
every sort of information ;* that it was worthy of admiration, 
above all things, that in so great and detestable a conspiracy, 
in which many persons must have participated, not one wit- 
ness had been found, not one letter which could convict the 
culprits, and that there was no proof but the alleged confes- 
sions, of which there could have been none in the case of 
Jacques Pierre and Langlade, who had died without speaking, 
while the others having been strangled in prison, every one 
was at liberty to doubt their confession. 

Monsieur Bruslart adds, that to these observations the doge 
made no reply, except that the Venetian government, being 
moderate in its judgments, would not have performed so ex- 
emplary an act of justice without good cause. 

It is very probable that the doge was himself ignorant of 
the particulars of the conspiracy ; for this audience took place 
before the 1 9th of July, and the first detailed account of the 
conspiracy, given to the government itself by the Council of 
Ten, who managed the whole proceedings in secret, is dated 
the 17th of October. Even had the doge been aware of the 
facts, it is not likely that he would have entered into a per- 
sonal discussion of them with the French embassador. But 

* I suppress a disquisition, which he says he inflicted upon the doge, 
in regard to the nature of justice. 



264 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

every one who will take the pains to compare the objections 
of Monsieur de Bruslart with the report of the Council of 
Ten will find that the greater part of the former lose all 
their force by the explanations in the latter, and that many 
of his assertions are directly contradicted either by that docu- 
ment or by his own brother's letter. It appears by the report 
of the council, that the execution of the enterprise was to be 
put off till September or October, and therefore the separation 
j)f the conspirators, for the time, proved nothing. It is shown, 
also, that the number of persons engaged was very great, and 
it is asserted that they were directed by De la Cueva. More 
than three hundred were put to death, nearly eight hundred 
fled, according to M. Broussin ; and of the Dutch troops, 
nearly three thousand in number were engaged. Therefore, 
Monsieur Bruslart's objection, founded on the srnallness of the 
number, falls to the ground. All the leaders but Renault 
were officers of some rank in the Venetian service, and they 
were, according to the report, headed by Bedomar, so that 
they did not deserve to be called " feeble instruments." If 
an Austrian army of three thousand men advanced to the 
frontier, as M. Broussin declares, surely his brother had no 
right to say that no forces had appeared to cause alarm ; and 
in regard to the objection that no Spaniards had taken part 
in the conspiracy, it was very unlikely that they should be 
suffered to do so, as the appearance of many of that nation in 
Venice must necessarily have excited suspicion in the Vene- 
tian government. 

As to the other points, the Council of Ten declare that 
they had both witnesses and documents to prove the facts, be- 
sides the confessions, and, as to the secrecy of the proceedings, 
they only followed a course which was usual in Venice. 

It seems to me, therefore, that Monsieur Bruslart did not 
at all shake the credibility of the statement of the Council of 
Ten as to the existence of a conspiracy. With regard to the 
guilt of Jacques Pierre, the case is very different, and presents 
some points which seem incapable of explanation upon any 
evidence that is before us. Monsieur Bruslart's testimony is 
as follows : " The first act of Jacques Pierre, when he devoted 
himself to the service of this republic, was to discover to it a 
project formed by the Duke of Ossuna to surprise this town 
with armed barges, taking possession of the places most easy 
to retain, and to second and support this effort by his army, 
which he designed to render powerful and bring into these 
quarters. Upon this he (Jacques Pierre) was heard for three 



THE CONSPIRACY OF C U E V A. 265 

or four hours, and gave his advice to these lords as to the 
remedies which they might employ against such an attempt. 
He told it to myself and many other persons, arid mentioned 
it to any one who would listen ; so that there is very little 
likelihood that he sought to attempt an enterprise which he 
had been the first to disclose." (Letter, 6th of June, 1618.) 

This statement is certainly powerful evidence in favor of 
Jacques Pierre ; but it is also, though Monsieur Bruslart does 
not appear to have seen it, irrefragable evidence that the 
Venetians had reason to think the Duke of Ossuna had laid 
the very plot of which they accused him, without any reason 
to believe that he had abandoned it. Moreover, the minutes 
of the revelations given by Jacques Pierre to the Venetian 
government, and sent by Monsieur Bruslart himself to France 
(if they are genuine, of which I entertain some doubts), show 
that the Council of Ten had distinct information that the 
Spanish embassador took an active part in the plot for the 
capture or destruction of their city. Monsieur Bruslart, there- 
fore, with those papers actually under his eyes, and with no 
assignable reason for supposing that the plans of the conspira- 
tors were changed, had no right to deny the existence of a 
conspiracy, although he had every right to protest against the 
execution of Jacques Pierre. 

Further on, in the same letter, he says, " I will say more. 
So far was Jacques Pierre from entertaining such a thought, 
that he dreamed of nothing but serving the king and M. de 
Nevers in their designs upon the Levant, and had charged 
this Renault with very ample memoirs upon the subject, and 
with letters which he wrote to his majesty and to my said 
Lord of Nevers, which he came to my house to read to me, 
and sent the said Renault express to carry them to France, 
and had paid him two hundred ducats for his journey. I 
had also given him a passport. So that some people suppose 
that the said memoirs, having been found in the hands of the 
said Renault, may have forwarded the death of the said 
Jacques Pierre rather than any conspiracy." 

In several other letters, Monsieur Bruslart continues to as- 
sert the innocence of Jacques Pierre, and mentions repeated- 
ly that the corsair had warned the Venetian government fully 
of the designs of the Duke of Ossuna ; and in his letter of the 
19th of July, 1618, he declares that Jacques Pierre, only two 
days before his departure with the fleet, had given in a new 
memoir for the security of the town, and had drawn up, at 
the desire of the Senate, a plan of the order of battle which 

M 



266 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the Venetian fleet should adopt. In the same letter, tho em- 
bassador inclosed the rough copies of two formal informations, 
laid by Jacques Pierre before the inquisitors, which were 
found, he says, in a coffer belonging to Jacques Pierre. They 
are in the handwriting of old Renault ; but this Monsieur 
Broussiri explains by saying (in a letter of the 3d of July) 
that, as Jacques Pierre was not able to write in Italian, they 
had been taken down by Renault. The documents to which 
he refers are curious, but are too long for insertion here. They 
show, however (if they are genuine), that the Duke of Ossuna 
had a secret agent at Venice, called Captain Alexander (sup- 
posed to be Alexander Spinosa, who was put to death by the 
Venetians shortly after the receipt of Jacques Pierre's informa- 
tion) ; that this Alexander was in communication with the 
Spanish embassador ; that he entered into conversation with 
Jacques Pierre, upon the designs of the Duke of Ossuna, took 
him to the house of the Spanish embassador, and was present 
with him during a conference conducted with the greatest se- 
crecy and care, in the course of which the embassador urged 
the corsair very strongly to go back to Naples, in order to ar- 
range the plans against Venice more completely and fully 
with the viceroy. These papers are riot signed by Jacques 
Pierre ; no part of them is in his handwriting ; but it is at- 
tested on the back by the hand of the French embassador, 
that they are copies of the information given by Jacques 
Pierre to the Venetian government ; and the dates show that 
this was immediately after his arrival in Venice. 

It results from the consideration of these papers, that Jacques 
Pierre really quitted the service of the Duke of Ossuna on 
some disgust, after having been informed of his designs against 
the Venetians ; that he then entered into the service of the 
republic, and revealed to his new masters the schemes devised 
against them ; that he nevertheless kept up communications 
with the Spanish embassador, and with the agents of the Duke 
of Ossuna ; and that, from time to time, he revealed at least a 
part of what he knew or heard, to the Venetian government. 

These papers may have been forged by Renault ; but it is 
clear, that the French embassador believed them to contain 
the substance of what Jacques Pierre had revealed ; and the 
report of the Council of Ten itself, dated 17th October, 1618, 
admits, in unqualified terms, that Jacques Pierre had reveal- 
ed " the impious plot at the moment it was about to break 
forth."* 

* Monsieur Daru makes a very unnecessary comment upon this part 



. THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 267 

This leaves no doubt whatever that he did communicate 
to the power he served the plots which were entertained 
against it. The letters of the French embassador, the min- 
utes of the information given by Jacques Pierre, and the re- 
port of the Council of Ten, taken together, prove that there 
was a conspiracy against the state of Venice, projected by the 
Duke of Ossuna, and probably communicated to De la Cueva, 
marquis of Bedomar ; and from the statement of the French 
embassador, in his letter of the 19th of July, 1618, that 
Jacques Pierre had given fresh information to the govern- 
ment two days before he sailed with the fleet, there is reason 
to suppose that the conspiracy, far from being abandoned, was 
in full activity till a very short time previous to the execu- 
tions. 

The strange and apparently inexplicable facts are these ; 
that, notwithstanding the full revelation made by him, Jacques 
Pierre was enveloped with the other conspirators in the pun- 
ishment of the very crime that he denounced ; that the man- 
ner of his death was contrary to every form of justice ; that 
he was neither examined, informed of the crime with which 
he was charged, nor suffered to make any defense ; and that 
the Venetian government, even after having put him to death 
for taking part in the conspiracy, acknowledged that he had 
revealed it. Nor is it less inexplicable that the French em- 
bassador himself should be aware of the existence of such a 
conspiracy in August, 1617, know all the details of it from 
Jacques Pierre, be informed that he had denounced it to the 
Venetian government, and yet never communicate the im- 
portant fact to the French ministry till the following year, 
and then should couple that very communication, accompanied 
by documentary evidence of the conspiracy, with a denial that 
any conspiracy existed. 

This part of the case is altogether exceedingly mysterious ; 
and various explanations have been boldly put forth, or covert- 
ly insinuated. Monsieur Bruslart implies, in his letters to the 
French government, that the real cause of the execution of 
Jacques Pierre was a desire, on the part of the republic, to 
oblige the court of Constantinople, by the destruction of a man 
who had performed signal exploits against the Turks, and 

of the report, apparently to insinuate a want of good faith in the state- 
ments of the Council of Ten. He points out that Jacques Pierre's rev- 
elations were made from the moment he arrived in Venice ; but Mon- 
sieur Bruslart shows that he gave fresh information just before he sail- 
ed with the fleet. It is to this, probably, the Council of Ten allude. 






268 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

who was actually laying plans with powerful personages for 
much greater enterprises in the Levant. 

Had he not coupled this explanation with the denial of a 
conspiracy, which is as clearly proved as any other fact in his- 
tory ; had he said that the Venetian government took advant- 
age of the discovery of the conspiracy, to satisfy the sultan 
by the sacrifice of Jacques Pierre, I might have been inclined 
to believe that this was a probable solution of the mystery. 
Opposed to this view, however, is the letter of Jacques Pierre 
to the Duke of Ossuna, which I have mentioned more than 
once, and which has so many internal marks of authenticity, 
that I can not reject it altogether from consideration. If this 
letter was really written by Jacques Pierre, it shows that he 
was playing a double game with the Duke of Ossuna and the 
Venetian government, and undertaking to carry into execu- 
tion a scheme for the surprise of Venice, at the very time 
when he was revealing the whole of that scheme to the Vene- 
tian authorities. In this case, he might either be endeavor- 
ing to lull the Venetians into false confidence, with the inten- 
tion of carrying out the designs of the duke, or he might be 
laying a trap for the duke himself, in order to deliver his ships 
into the hands of the Venetians. Another explanation may be 
suggested, though I do so without confidence in its accuracy, 
and it is at best but an hypothesis. It is this. We have seen 
that, according to all accounts, the Duke of Ossuna threw the 
wile of Jacques Pierre into prison on his departure, and kept 
her as a sort of hostage. Jacques Pierre, in the minutes of his 
revelations to the council, shows his extreme anxiety to bring 
his wife to Venice. May we not suppose that he kept up the 
appearance of acting for the Duke of Ossuna, for the purpose 
of inducing him to set his wife at liberty, and that, in so doing, 
he wrote letters, which, falling into the hands of the Vene- 
tian government, excited the strongest suspicions in a jealous, 
vindictive, and merciless body. I put this forth merely as an 
inquiry, for the reader to take it at no more than it is worth. 

The explanation of Count Daru I shall now proceed to 
consider apart, as his high character and general accuracy 
command respect, although his views are untenable, and many 
of his statements inaccurate, on a subject where he has sacri- 
ficed every thing to the maintenance of a favorite hypothesis. 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA, 269 



CHAPTER 'V. 

THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 

I NOW turn to the hypothesis of the Count Daru, raised for 
the purpose of explaining all the obscure points in the Vene- 
tian conspiracy of 1618. It is constructed with care, and 
with great skill, supported by long and intricate reasoning, 
and by many documents and authorities ; but I must premise 
that a forced sense is often put upon the words quoted ; that 
the authorities, which are rejected when they make against 
the hypothesis of Monsieur Daru, are received, even without 
corroboration, when they favor his views ; and that he not 
unfrequently reasons in a circle, and, by slight alterations of 
dates, misplaces cause and effect. 

The hypothesis of the Count Daru is, that the Duke of Os- 
suna, having determined to usurp the crown of Naples, some 
time before the month of August, 1617, had entered into ne- 
gotiations with the Venetian government, as well as with 
France and Savoy, for the purpose of insuring support against 
the power of Spain ; and that there was a tacit understand- 
ing between him and the Senate of Venice, that he was to be 
allowed to engage the Dutch troops, which they had taken 
into their service during the war, but which they no longer 
wanted. This was, however, to be done covertly, the Duke 
of Ossuna appearing to seduce the Dutch soldiers from the 
service of the republic by the means of secret agents. Mon- 
sieur Daru imagines that one of these agents was Jacques 
Pierre ; that the secret agent was deceived by his principal ; 
and that Pierre was sent to Venice with the notion that he 
was to organize a conspiracy against the republic, and draw 
out a plan for surprising the city. In order to cheat him into 
the belief that this was the real object, he was directed to 
cheat the world, by affecting to escape from Naples by night ; 
and his wife was imprisoned, to give an air of reality to the 
transaction. Jacques Pierre, however, on his arrival at 
Venice, either more honest or more rascally, as the case may 
be, than his master supposed, revealed the plot against the 
city to the Venetian government, in August, 1617. The 
Venetians, however, forewarned, according to Monsieur Daru, 



270 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

of the duke's real designs, took no notice of Jacques Pierre's 
information, except by apprehending and putting to death 
Alexander Spinosa, another secret agent of the Duke of Os- 
suna, whom Monsieur Daru supposes to have been destroyed 
by the Venetian government " to augment the confidence of 
Jacques Pierre, and prove to him that they did not neglect 
his information ! !" 

The part which Bedomar took in the affair is explained 
by Monsieur Daru, by the supposition that Ossuna, wishing 
to deceive him as to his intentions upon the crown of Naples, 
directed Jacques Pierre to confer with him in regard to the 
pretended plot against Venice, which the known "indiscretions 
of the Duke of Ossuna, and the hatred he affected to manifest 
against the Venetians," rendered credible. The embassador, 
without any real share in the conspiracy, rather favored it 
than otherwise, when communicated to him by Jacques Pierre, 
and left all the rest to the Duke of Ossuna. 

In the succeeding ten months very little was done in Ven- 
ice, according to Monsieur Daru, except in carrying on the 
arrangements for the transfer of the Dutch troops. The Vene- 
tians took no further notice of the informations of Jacques 
Pierre ; the Spanish embassador left things as they were ; and 
Jacques Pierre received no communications from the Duke of 
Ossuna, or, at least, no satisfactory answer to the letters which 
he sent to the duke, pressing him to carry out the designs ar- 
ranged, although they had been already revealed to the Vene- 
tian government. In the mean time, however, Monsieur Daru 
thinks that the duke carried on a sham war with the Vene- 
tians, to conceal their good understanding, and eagerly press- 
ed forward negotiations with France, which power remained 
irresolute, and with the Prince of Orange, who actually did 
send to him, Monsieur Daru ^s, twelve ships, which the 
Spanish fleet attempted, unsuccessfully, to prevent from pass- 
ing the Straits of Gibraltar. At length, however, in the early 
part of 1618, all the hopes and expectations of the Duke of 
Ossuna came to an end. His designs of revolt and usurpation 
were revealed to the Spanish government ; France would give 
no aid ; Savoy was supposed to be treacherous ; and the Vene- 
tians, seeing that the conspiracy of the duke against his own 
government was both discovered and impracticable, resolved 
" to efface all traces of their connivance," in order not to give 
offense to the Spanish crown. For this purpose, Monsieur 
Daru would have it, they determined upon the terrible act 
they committed. " They could not tell precisely," says Mon- 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUE VA. 271 

sieur Daru, "up to what point each of the agents was ini- 
tiated into the secret. The surest way was to cause them 
all to disappear at once, immediately, and without exception, 
and that before the court of Spain had displayed any resent- 
ment against the Duke of Ossuna." For this sole reason 
more than three hundred persons were put to death, accord- 
ing to Monsieur Daru. 

Can any thing be more wild, improbable, and absurd than 
this whole story ? Yet such is the hypothesis of the Count 
Daru, stripped of the embroidery with which he decorates it. 
Nevertheless, however wild and improbable a tale may be, 
we may yet be compelled to believe it, if supported by suffi- 
cient historical evidence. But such is not the case with this 
statement. So far from it, indeed, that Monsieur Daru is 
obliged to displace or to strain every ascertained fact of histo*- 
ry, in order to give even a semblance of probability to his ac- 
count. 

In order to show this fact, I will examine the authorities 
on w T hich he relies, and the facts on which his whole state- 
ments are based. 

His principal authorities (besides the correspondence and 
the diplomatic pieces of which I have spoken, and which he 
does n|t seem to me always to interpret fairly) are, first, Gre- 
gorio Leti, a native of Milan, a very confused and inaccurate 
writer ; secondly, Baptista Nani, a Venetian of high rank and 
authority ; thirdly, the well-known Giannoni ; fourthly, the 
too well-known Vittorio Siri ; and, fifthly, Louis Videl, one 
of the secretaries of the famous constable De Lesdiguieres. 
The other authorities, which he cites occasionally, are of little 
importance to the general question. He himself shows that 
Sandi copied St. Real ; and it is apparent that the Genoese, 
Peter Capriata, was ignorant of the public documents already 
mentioned. 

In regard to these authorities, Monsieur Daru himself points 
out, in a number of different places, where the accounts of 
Leti do not suit his purposes, the very great inaccuracy of 
that author. The same may be said of Siri, whose state- 
ments can never be relied upon except when corroborated by 
other less suspicious evidence. 

Nani is more worthy of credit. He had every opportunity 
of ascertaining the facts ; he had filled various important diplo- 
matic offices, and might have all the existing documents un- 
der his eyes. Giannoni, a writer long posterior, contributes 
nothing but the weight of his name ; but Louis Videl had the 



272 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY, 

means of knowing personally all the negotiations between the 
Duke of Ossuna and the court of France, which took place 
principally through the mediation of Lesdiguieres. Of the 
authorities, therefore, on which Monsieur Daru relies, none 
are of any weight except Nani and Louis Videl ; but, on ex- 
amining the statements of all the historians whom he cites, it 
will be found that every one of them, with more or less dis- 
tinctness and detail, attribute to the Duke of Ossuna a design 
of usurping the crown of Naples and Sicily, and imply that 
he negotiated with France and Savoy. Some of them add 
Venice and Holland to the number of those he sought for al- 
lies ; and Monsieur Daru's argument is, that the Duke of 
Ossuna could not carry on a plot against Venice and at the 
same time negotiate with her for assistance. 

Admitting the intended usurpation of the duke, merely for 
the sake of argument, it is clear that the value of Monsieur 
Daru's hypothesis will entirely depend upon the dates. Now 
every one of his authorities, without exception, places the dis- 
covery of the conspiracy against Venice in May, 1618, and his 
first designs of usurpation in 1 6 1 9 . Even Louis Videl himself, 
who saw and knew the whole course of the negotiations be- 
tween Ossuna and Lesdiguieres, places them distinctly in 
1619. If, then, these writers are accurate if Ossilta did 
not negotiate for assistance in rebellion before 1619, a whole 
year after the frightful executions in Venice, those executions 
could not have been perpetrated in order to blot out all trace 
of those negotiations, and the whole hypothesis of Monsieur 
Daru falls to the ground. 

To get over the difficulty, Monsieur Daru supposes that 
the greater number of the historians he cites mistakenly place 
the commencement of Ossuna's negotiations, and his first de- 
sign of usurpation, at the time when they became publicly 
talked of; and as to Louis Videl, who knew the whole busi- 
ness from the beginning, he argues in a very curious manner. 
He says that Videl, in placing the enterprise of the Duke of 
Ossuna under the year 1619, did not really intend to give 
that as the precise date. Monsieur Daru calls Videl's ac- 
count of the transactions between the duke and Lesdiguieres 
" a digression upon the Duke of Ossuna." It is no such 
thing ; but just as much a part of Lesdiguiere's history as 
any other part of the work. Monsieur Daru then says, that, 
even if Videl intended to give 1619 as the real date, he must 
be in error, and that his own statements show it ; but he can 
only establish that fact by misinterpreting all the other state- 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUEVA. 273 

merits. There is only one, however, which it may be neces- 
sary here to notice, as it is the only one which has any pre- 
cise bearing on the question. I will give Monsieur Dam's 
own words. " He (Videl) says that the Prince of Piedmont, 
charged to protect the interests of the viceroy with the minis- 
ters, was then in Paris for his marriage ; and this marriage 
was negotiated in 1618, since it was accomplished on the 10th 
of February, 1619." These are Monsieur Dam's own words ; 
and those very words are sufficient to destroy his whole hy- 
pothesis, even if his interpretation of Videl' s words could stand 
for a moment. He says that the Prince of Piedmont was in. 
Paris for his marriage, not for the negotiations which preceded 
his marriage ; but, at all events, the death of more than three 
hundred persons in May, 1618, could not have for its object 
the concealment of transactions which took place in Decem- 
ber, 1618, or January, 1619. 

Let us turn, however,, from mere statements to ascertained 
facts, always bearing in mind that Jacques Pierre arrived in 
Venice early in August, 1617 ; and that, according to Mon- 
sieur Daru's hypothesis, the understanding between the Vene- 
tians and the Duke of Ossuna was at that time complete. 
Now, at this time, the war between Venice and the archduke 
was still going on, and the Duke of Ossuna was one of the 
most active parties against the Venetians. Peace was not 
concluded till the 6th of September, 1617, nearly two months 
after Jacques Pierre quitted Naples. But not only did the 
Duke of Ossuna carry on the war most vehemently, while 
Venice and the archduke were engaged in hostilities, but, 
even after the signature of the treaty of peace, he continued 
that war on his own account, till long after the discovery of 
the conspiracy and the death of Jacques Pierre. On the 16th 
of March, 1618, the Doge Giovanni Bembo writes to one of 
the diplomatic agents of the republic, that there can be no 
hope of peace as long as the Duke of Ossuna is Viceroy of Na- 
ples. The Doge Priuli, on the 28th of July, 1618, makes 
the same complaint, and shows that the duke was continuing 
the war. Another letter from the same to the resident at 
Milan, dated the 1st of September, 1618, shows that these 
hostilities had not ceased, but were as furious as ever. The 
report of the Council of Ten, on the 17th of October in the 
same year, shows to what a pitch of animosity the Venetians 
and the duke had arrived. He takes their vessels ; they take 
his ; and, as his acts were not avowed by his government after 
the peace, the Venetians treated some of the commanders of 

M2 



274 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

his ships as pirates, put them to the torture, to extract inform- 
ation from them, and in the end condemned them to death. 
Even on the 13th of November, 1618, six months after the 
conspiracy, open war was going on between the duke and the 
Venetians, and an engagement had taken place between their 
fleets in the Adriatic, in which the Neapolitans had been de- 
feated, as appears by a letter of the doge of that date. Mon- 
sieur Dam might, perhaps, say that these accounts were not 
real, and were merely spread abroad by the doge and the 
Council to cover their understanding with the duke. Unfor- 
tunately for his hypothesis, however, we have other author- 
ities for the facts. De la Cueva himself, after he had retired 
from Venice, mentions distinctly the engagement between the 
two fleets in November, 1618 ; and although he tries to make 
it appear that the result was favorable to Ossuna, he shows 
that several galleys had been taken on the one part or the 
other. Were his testimony not sufficient, we have that of 
the French embassador, who, on the 6th of June, 1618, shows 
that the Venetians had attacked the Neapolitan fleet at Brin- 
disi, and taken some ships, and that the squadron of the Duke 
of Ossuna had been forced to quit the Adriatic. 

These facts are perfectly incompatible with the supposition 
that, from the middle of the year 1617, the Duke of Ossuna 
had a perfect understanding with the Venetian government, 
and sent Jacques Pierre, with their consent, to gain the Dutch 
troops to his service ; for not for one single moment, from that 
period till toward the end of the year 1618, was there a ces- 
sation of active hostilities between the duke and the Venetians. 

Every part of Monsieur Daru's hypothesis breaks down un- 
der the touch of examination. In speaking of the Dutch 
troops, he more than once says that the Venetians had no 
longer any need of the services of foreign troops, as the war 
was at an end. The war was not at an end when Jacques 
Pierre set out from Naples, nor when he arrived in Venice ; 
but, even if the treaty had been signed with the archduke, it 
is clearly shown that, either on account of the hostilities with 
the Duke of Ossuna, or from a doubt of the good faith of 
Spain, the Venetians continued to augment their forces during 
the whole of the years 1617 and 1618, and, so far from wish- 
ing to get rid of the strangers they had hired, they eagerly 
sought new recruits. On the 6th of June, 1618, Monsieur 
Bruslart speaks of " their great armament," of " the increase 
of their forces ;" and again, on the 24th of August, he shows 
that they offered greater advantages than ever to French offi- 
cers in their service, in order to induce them to remain, not- 



THE CONSPIRACY OF CUE V A. 275 

withstanding the efforts of Monsieur Bruslart to persuade 
them to quit the armies of the republic. 

Again, in regard to a fleet of twelve vessels, sent into the 
Mediterranean by the Prince of Orange, Monsieur Daru, with- 
out the slightest authority to justify such a supposition, states 
that these vessels were hired by the Duke of Ossuna, the Ve- 
netians lending their name. Now what is the real history 
of this transaction ? Narii tells us that Christopher Suriano, 
the Venetian resident in Holland, engaged twelve vessels for 
the service of the republic, and that these vessels passed the 
Straits of Gibraltar on the 24th of June, notwithstanding the 
opposition of a Spanish fleet. The French embassador, in his 
correspondence, shows that, at this very time, the Venetians 
were greatly increasing their naval forces in the Adriatic ; 
and the Doge Priuli, in writing to the resident at Milan, 
states distinctly that this fleet was coming into the service of 
the republic ; that the Spanish fleet attempted to prevent it 
from passing the Straits of Gibraltar ; but that, after a battle 
of six hours, the Dutch fleet was victorious, and forced the pas- 
sage. The only foundation whatever for Monsieur Daru's 
supposition that this fleet was destined for the use of the Duke 
of Ossuna is found in a few words of Louis Videl, who states 
that the Prince of Orange had promised to send a Dutch 
squadron to the assistance of the Duke of Ossuna ; but then 
he places the fact even of the promise in 1619, and not 1618. 
He also distinctly places it long after the discovery of the con- 
spiracy of May, 1618, of which Videl gives a short but dis- 
tinct account, attributing the whole design of that conspiracy 
to the Duke of Ossuna, and implying directly that the attempt 
upon Venice was to be made with the consent and assistance 
of the Spanish government. His testimony is infinitely valu-. 
able on this point, as, from the confidential situation he held 
about the person of Lesdiguieres, he had every opportunity of 
obtaining correct information ; and he states positively that 
the stipulated restoration of Vercelli was delayed by the Span- 
iards till they saw the result of the enterprise against Venice. 
One of the principal reasons which determined them to re- 
store Vercelli, he says, " was the bad success of a design which 
the Duke of Ossuna, viceroy of Naples, had for some time had 
against Venice, by means of a certain Jacques Pierre, and 
which the Spaniards thought infallible." 

This is the most direct cotemporary testimony which we 
have, by a person not interested, but who had the very best 
means of obtaining information ; for it must be remembered 
that Lesdiguieres took ail active part in the affairs of the 



276 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Duke of Savoy, to whom Vercelli was to be restored, and that 
Videl, his secretary, possessed his full confidence. 

As a specimen of how lightly Monsieur Daru leaps over all 
obstacles in the way of his hypothesis, I will translate his com- 
ment upon this passage of Videl. He says, " One is, doubt- 
less, surprised to read this passage in the same historian, who, 
some pages after, reports the conspiracy of the Duke of Os- 
suna against Naples. It is impossible that the same man 
should have conducted these two conspiracies at the same time, 
one in favor of his government, to procure for it the acquisition 
of a state ; the other against the same government, in order to 
snatch from it a kingdom. The writer has not taken any 
trouble to reconcile these two facts." 

Certainly not, because such are not the facts which Videl 
states at all. The facts, as stated by Videl, do not require to 
be reconciled, for they are not opposed to each other. He does 
not state, as Monsieur Daru says, that the Duke of Ossuna 
conducted these two conspiracies at the same time, but quite 
the contrary. He states, that in 1617 and 1618 Ossuna pro- 
jected a conspiracy against Venice, and that in 1619 he con- 
spiretl against Spain. 

From all these documents and authorities, it would seem to 
me perfectly clear that the Duke of Ossuna, whether he after- 
ward conspired against his own country or not, did, in the 
course of 1617 and 1618, form a design for surprising Venice 
by t.he means of a great number of adventurous soldiers, whom 
he contrived to introduce into the service of the republic. 

The only points which appear obscure are the career and 
fate of Jacques Pierre. We know not whether his flight from 
Naples was simulated ; and we know not why he was put to 
, death, after having revealed the project of the duke. We 
know not whether, from the first, he was an agent of Ossuna, 
and betrayed him ; or whether, having really quitted him in 
disgust and revealed his projects, he was induced by other per- 
sons engaged in the conspiracy, or by the desire of obtaining 
the liberation of his wife, to renew his communications with 
the viceroy. All we know is, that, after having fully revealed 
the machinations against Venice, he was put to death by the 
Venetian authorities. The only ray of light that we obtain, 
as to the motives of his execution or murder, is afforded by a 
report of the Council of Ten (16th of September, 1618), and it 
is very faint. " Moreover," says the report, " the designs of 
the Duke of Ossuna against our fleet were upon the point of 
being executed. It is quite possible that those wicked men 
might have caused considerable damage to our fleet." 



WALLENSTEIN. 277 



WALLENSTEIN, 



CHAPTER I. 

THERE is an old -castle on a hill, and a village at the foot 
of the rise, with a church starting up in the highest part of 
the hamlet, till the top of the tower reaches almost to the 
base of the castle. It does not seem a thriving place ; there 
is no look of prosperity about it ; the houses, with two or three 
exceptions, are small and mean ; there are no gardens, orch- 
ards, or vineyards : it is a poor place. Nor is the castle much 
superior to the village. Of no great extent, not in very good 
repair, without much strength against an enemy, without 
much comfort for an inhabitant, it seems but the fortified 
house of some poor noble of the second class. Yet it was 
very lately the dwelling of John Waldstein of Hermanic, the 
son of illustrious ancestors, and the father of one destined to 
be more illustrious still. 

In the court of the castle several boys are playing ; the 
three sons of the late lord of the castle, two boys from the best 
houses in the village, two others from that building pitched 
upon the craggy point some 'three miles off. The eldest seems 
about seventeen, the youngest eleven. 

On a bench before the old stone porch of the hall, and look- 
ing upon the sports of the children, is an elderly man, of mild 
and dignified appearance, and a lady, seemingly in declining 
health. There are marks of mourning about her dress, and 
she calls her companion "brother." 

The boys are playing merrily enough, though somewhat 
rudely, dividing themselves into little bands, and each acting 
the soldier, attacking and defending fortresses raised of loose 
stones, and giving each other, from time to time, hard blows, 
at which the mother only smiles. There is one youth among 
them, however, the youngest of the party, but very nearly as 
tall as any of the rest, handsome and well formed, but with 
a somewhat wild and flashing eye, and a broad and haughty 
brow. He is the leader of one of the little bands ; and hark, 
how imperiously he speaks to his young followers. 



278 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

" Albrecht," exclaimed his uncle, as he heard him insisting 
upon his commands being obeyed, " be more moderate in your 
language, sir. You speak as if you were a prince, and not a 
poor gentleman's son." 

The boy turned his haughty head for an instant, and an- 
swered, " If I am not a prince now, I may be one some day ;" 
and he went on with his game. 

Some years passed, and the young Albrech^ Waldstein, 
now an orphan, and the youngest of three brothers, is being 
educated by his uncle Slavata, of Chulm ; but he stays not 
there very long. He is perverse, obstinate, disobedient. They 
can do nothing with him ; and he is transferred to the care 
of another uncle, who has embraced the Roman Catholic re- 
ligion, and who sends the stubborn boy to the great instructors 
of youth in that day, the Jesuits. At their college at Olmutz, 
a great change comes over the young Waldstein. He becomes 
docile, obedient, affectionate. His especial tutor, Father Pach- 
ta, obtains his love by indulgence and kindness, presses him 
little to severer studies, humors the peculiarities of his char- 
acter, and leads him, rather than drives him on, upon the 
road to science. At the same time, however, he instills into 
his mind the doctrines of tne Romish Church ; and Albrecht 
of Waldstein renounces the religion of his fathers. 

There are three young men, set off from Olmutz to travel 
together ; and there could not be three more different in char- 
acter, pursuits, or position. The first in rank and wealth is 
the young Lord Liek of Riesenstein, lord of the Giant's 
Stone, one of whom history has left little but a name. The 
other is Albrecht of Waldstein, whose life is an epic. The 
third was Peter Verdungo, the friend and companion of Kep- 
lar, famous for his scientific pursuits, and for mingling science 
with the wildest dreams of astrology : we know not if he went 
as tutor of the other two ; but so it has been supposed. And 
now they hasten forward, with all the eagerness of youth, to 
see, to learn, to enjoy that world which forms the bright, de- 
ceitful dream of boyhood ; that world so gay and glittering at 
a distance, so hard, so cold, so dull when we are near. On- 
ward they go, through Germany, France, Holland, England, 
Spain, Italy ; each acting according to his character at the 
time, and forming his character for the future. With ex- 
penses almost beyond his limited means, young Waldstein con- 
forms to all the customs of each country through which he 
travels ; but he studies, too, and studies hard men, manners, 
tongues, arts, commerce, cities ; nothing passes before him un- 



WALLEN8TEIN. 279 

r 

noticed ; and from every thing something is acquired. But 
there are two strains of thought on which his mind rests more 
willingly than on others the visionary doctrines of judicial 
astrology ; that madness of man's inherent thirst for a knowl- 
edge of futurity and the science of war. The latter formed 
the real occupation of his intellect, the former the pursuit of 
his imagination. 

In Italy, and especially at Padua, then one of the most fa- 
mous universities in Europe, Waldstein stayed long ; and now 
we find the three companions separated. Each betook him- 
self his separate way in life ; and Waldstein, with small 
means, but a powerful mind and much knowledge, entered on 
the career which he had chosen for himself, and joined the 
imperial army, then warring against the Turks, it would ap- 
pear, as a volunteer. 

Then, as now, genius without wealth was a sealed fountain. 
No one discovered the waters ; and for years Waldstein re- 
mained without promotion or command. At length a com- 
pany of infantry was granted him ; and here he might have 
dragged out his life in obscurity, but that a handsome person 
opened to him a brighter career. The first step in it might 
be a painful, and was, perhaps, not a very honest one ; but it 
seemed the only means of success ; and he took it. 

Lo, the young, the handsome, the energetic Waldstein 
stands at the altar with a woman old enough to be his moth- 
er, the rich widow Nikessin, of Landeck. There were many 
seeking her hand. It had even been promised to one ; but 
Waldstein was strongly supported by influential friends ; his 
person was a still stronger recommendation ; and she gave 
him her hand and her riches. 

Still there was little chance of his obtaining great favor at 
court, or a high command in the army ; for he had displeased 
the Archduke Matthias, one of whose chamberlains he had 
been for a short time, and who ultimately became emperor. 
We know not, indeed, whether he sought either for some 
time ; and a portion of the next two years was consumed in 
a long and severe sickness, brought on by the folly of his wife, 
in giving him a love potion, with a view of gaining or of re- 
taining the affection of a young man for an old woman. Her 
own death, not long after, freed him from such dangers ; and 
now Wallenstein starts into active life, but not till after a 
long period of retirement, nor until he had reached his thirty- 
third year. 

From the Lady of Landeck he had inherited large estates 



280 ^ DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

in Moravia ; and he seems, for nearly ten years, to have de- 
voted himself to the cultivation and improvement of his lands. 
During this period had raged furiously what is called the 
Fraternal War, between the Archduke Matthias and the 
weak Emperor RudolpK. Neither the service of a fool nor 
that of a rogue was very desirable ; and Wallenstein took no 
part with either. We are told that he was eagerly solicited 
by both parties ; but of this I find no distinct proof; and if 
it was so, he must have been sought for his wealth ; for as 
yet he had gained no military renown. At length, however, 
broke out the war of Friuli, between Ferdinand of Gratz, 
archduke of Carniola and Styria, and the Venetian republic ; 
and Wallenstein issued forth from Moravia at the head of 
two hundred well-appointed cavalry, all raised upon his own 
estates, to give aid to the Austrian prince. 

The fortress of Gradisca was at that time blockaded by the 
Venetians, who were slowly carrying on the siege of the place. 
The great danger of the garrison lay in the want of provisions, 
and the first exploit of Wallenstein was to throw a large sup- 
ply into the place. The war had little result, and terminated 
soon after by a treaty of peace ; but Wallenstein's military 
fame was established, and his services were acknowledged by 
Ferdinand. The soldiers sang praises of his liberality ; the 
officers and the noblemen of the army enjoyed his table and 
benefited by his purse ; and now, received with honor at Vien- 
na, Wallenstein found himself appointed one of the chamber- 
lains to the emperor, and obtained the command of the militia 
of Moravia. This appointment gave him much power ; and 
his marriage, which speedily followed, with Isabella Catharine, 
daughter of Count Harrach, a minister of the emperor, both 
added to his fortune and procured him great influence at the 
imperial court. He fixed his residence at Olmutz, displaying 
the splendor and profusion of a prince ; but events were now 
preparing which opened for him a career of prosperity and re- 
verse which has but few parallels in history. 

I must pause upon these events, though it will be but 
briefly. The kingdom of Bohemia, peopled principally by a 
Sclavonian tribe, had resisted for many years, with fiery vigor 
and considerable success, both civil and religious tyranny. 
Though the house of Austria, after the year 1526, claimed 
dominion over Bohemia, and though the Roman Catholic 
faith was tolerated in the land, still the forms of liberty were 
maintained, and Protestantism was the predominant religion 
in the country. The crown of Bohemia was elective, and, on 






WALLENSTEIN. 281 

the accession of each monarch, the forms of election were gone 
through. The people suffered no occasion to pass without ex- 
acting from the Austrian princes some recognition of the lib- 
erties and privileges of Bohemia. Rudolph granted a charter, 
called the Letter of Majesty, by which entire freedom of re- 
ligion, and the maintenance of all rights, was granted. Mat- 
thias, before his coronation, was required to swear at the altar, 
with his hand on the Bible, that he would maintain the privi- 
leges contained in Rudolph's charter ; and an expression of 
consent from the people was demanded before the crown was 
put upon his head. After Ferdinand of Gratz, the heir of his 
cousin Rudolph, had been elected King of the Romans, Mat- 
thias sought to secure for him the crown of Bohemia also, and 
enlarged his promises and engagements to the Bohemian peo- 
ple. But the character of Ferdinand, as a persecutor of the 
Protestants, was well known ; the Bohemians were wary ; and 
before they would elect him as the successor of Matthias, or 
suffer him to receive the crown, they exacted from him the sig- 
nature of a charter, by which he pronounced them free of their 
allegiance in case he violated any of the privileges secured to 
them, or any of the engagements into which he entered at his 
coronation. This done, he was elected and crowned. 

The object of the emperor and the archduke was now at- 
tained, and the mask was thrown off. Two new churches 
were built at Brunau and Klostergraben, in Bohemia, by the 
Protestants of the district . They were seized by the Catholics : 
one was pulled down, and one was shut up by the orders of 
the emperor. 

Matthias was represented, in Prague, by a Council of State, 
and to the lords of this council the Protestants sent deputies, 
complaining of the outrage. The deputies were thrown into 
prison by the monarch's representatives, and the Protestant 
nobility now laid their remonstrances at the foot of the throne. 
Shortly after, they were summoned by the Council of State to 
hear the emperor's reply. It was bold and tyrannical. The 
monarch avowed the act of which the Protestants complain- 
ed, declared that the states of Bohemia had abused their char- 
ter, and asserted that the deputies had rendered themselves 
liable to punishment as rebels. 

The indignation excited was extreme ; the people were as- 
sembled in the market-place, and the charter of the liberties of 
Bohemia was read to them, in conjunction with the imperial 
letter just received. It was with difficulty that the populace 
were prevented from storming the palace of the Council of 



282 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

State ; and when a deputation of noblemen proceeded to in- 
form the lords of the council that no decree tending to endan- 
ger freedom of religion in Bohemia could be received after the 
emperor's signature of the great charter, a number of the pop- 
ulace followed them to the hall. A confused and stormy 
scene then took place, in the midst of which two of the lords 
of council and the secretary were thrown out of the windows, 
arid miraculously escaped with life. 

This act of violence could not be passed over, as the states 
of Bohemia were well aware ; and although they endeavored, 
by genera] professions of loyalty and apologies for the tumult, 
to turn away the wrath of the emperor, they neglected no pre- 
caution to defend themselves against his vengeance. A Coun- 
cil of Thirty was chosen to conduct the affairs of the country; 
the army was placed under the command of Count Thurn, 
one of the most distinguished Protestant noblemen ; and ne- 
gotiations were opened with the various Protestant states of 
Germany, with the view of obtaining aid and assistance in 
case of war. At the same time, the acts of the Council of 
Thirty rendered war inevitable. The Archbishop of Prague, 
the Abbot of Brunau, and a number of the Romish clergy, 
who were accused of having taken part in the first acts of ag- 
gression, were expelled the kingdom, as well as the whole body 
of Jesuits ; and the determination of the leaders was now very 
clear, to render Bohemia a purely Protestant state. 

Negotiations succeeded between the emperor and his in- 
surgent subjects ; but the Bohemians refused to disarm till 
certain securities were afforded for their safety and their rights. 
Matthias, who had lost the energies of his youth and the per- 
severance of his middle age, would fain have yielded something 
to quiet his people and die in peace ; but the Archduke Fer- 
dinand thought that he could profit by the occasion to annul 
the privileges of the Bohemians, and he urged on his cousin to 
unsheath the sword. Two imperial officers, named Dampier 
and Bucquoi, marched into Bohemia ; but their appearance 
was a signal for the union of all parties in the kingdom to de- 
fend their rights. Catholics and Protestants laid aside their 
religious disputes, and took the field together ; and the famous 
Count Mansfeld, engaged in the cause of the insurgents, led a 
body of veteran free companions to their aid, and soon obtain- 
ed possession of Pilsen, the only town of importance which 
maintained its allegiance to the house of Austria. Bucquoi 
and Dampier were held in check, the Protestants of Moravia 
and of Upper and Lower Austria were moving in favor of 



W A L L E N S T E I N. 283 

their Bohemian brethren, and Bethlem Gabor, the restless 
and adventurous Prince of Transylvania, prepared to march 
upon Vienna and extinguish the Austrian empire. 

What had been the conduct of Wallenstein during these 
events ? The insurgents had striven to gain him to their 
party. Although he was by no means a man of a persecuting 
spirit, he \vas now a sincere* Roman Catholic, and showed 
himself a faithful servant of the emperor. No considerations 
of religious toleration, no thought of the liberties of his coun- 
try, seemed to affect him in the least. He rejected all over- 
tures from the Bohemian states ; and with zeal, diligence, and 
skill endeavored to preserve Moravia for the emperor. But 
the spirit of revolt had seized upon the province, and the pro- 
vincial states resolved to send deputies to meet those of Bo- 
hemia at Brun. Wallenstein endeavored to intercept them ; 
but he was not supported by the militia, over whom he held 
a nominal command, and all his efforts were unsuccessful. 
The united states of Brun declared him fallen from the com- 
mand of the militia; and though he attempted to resist, a Bo- 
hemian force, sent to attack him in Olmutz, compelled him 
to evacuate a town where he could calculate upon but little 
support. He carried off the public treasure with him, how- 
ever, and delivered it to the emperor, who allotted a part 
thereof to Wallenstein, for the purpose of raising a regiment 
of cuirassiers. 

The Emperor Matthias, in the midst of these dark and 
ominous events, closed his long and turbulent life, on the 20th 
of March, 1618, and Ferdinand of Gratz succeeded to all the 
hereditary dominions of Austria. He had been already elected 
King of the Romans ; but the imperial crown was yet to be 
attained ; and he turned his eyes anxiously to Frankfort, where 
he knew his claims were likely to be opposed in the Diet by 
many who might not have ventured to raise their voice against 
him had the strength of the house of Austria not been broken 
by the revolt of many of its provinces. He dared not leave 
the Danube for the Rhine, however, while the aspect of every 
thing around him was so menacing ; and in the mean while 
Count Thurn, with a large army, every day increasing by re- 
enforcements from Upper Austria itself, marched on with 
rapid steps toward Vienna, while Bethlem Gabor, with his 
Transylvanian hordes, was known to be advancing across 
Hungary. 



284 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER II. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

EVERY thing is confusion and terror in Vienna. The city 
is without troops for its defense ; the inhabitants are cold and 
indifferent ; the roar of artillery is heard on the left bank of 
the Danube ; the bridge is in possession of the Bohemian 
forces. No resistance can be made ; and a busy troop of 
frightened courtiers in one of the halls of the imperial palace 
surround a man of the middle age, and clamorously beseech 
him to fly and save himself. 

" If I fly, all is lost," replied Ferdinand. " I will stay, what- 
ever be the consequence." 

He spoke with a tone and look which might well become 
a mighty monarch ; but it failed to give confidence to the 
terrified people around him. One after another quitted him, 
and he was left almost alone. The balls of the Bohemian 
guns fell into the courts of the palace ; and twelve, or, as 
some say, sixteen Austrian noblemen pushed their way into 
the very chamber where their monarch stood, and, with a 
written paper in their hands, pressed for its signature. It 
contained the terms demanded by the Bohemians : terms 
which would have given security to religion and to liberty. 

Ferdinand hesitated ; and one of the lords, forgetting all 
restraint, seized him by a button of his coat, exclaiming, 
" Nandel,* wilt thou sign ?" 

But hark ! There is a trumpet in the palace square, the 
clang of horses' feet, the sound of armor. Have the Bohe- 
mians broken in? People run to the windows; and lo, a 
regiment of Dampier's cuirassiers. They have come to save 
their sovereign in the hour of need ; tfiey bring news, too, that 
the whole army is close upon their track ; the Austrian dep- 
uties retreat in haste toward the camp of Count Thurn ; and 
Ferdinand has time at least for thought. 

Still, security was far from obtained. Dampier's whole 
army was not sufficient to maintain Vienna against the ever- 
increasing forces of Count Thurn ; but tidings reached both 
the court and the camp of an event which changed the face 
of affairs in a moment ; and men's tongues were busy with 
* A rude and familiar abbreviation of Ferdinand. 



WALLEN STEIN. 285 

the name of Wallenstein. Let us change the scene, and sec 
what this event was. 

There are two armies in presence on the banks of the Mol- 
dau, as it flows on from Budweis toward Prague. The small 
city of Moldau Tein is within sight from the high ground ; 
and upon a little elevation is a camp surrounded by a num- 
ber of baggage wagons, which, drawn up in a square, form a 
sort of redoubt in the rear of a force of some five or six thou- 
sand men. These are the army, and that the camp of the 
adventurous Peter Ernest, of Mansfeld ; and that larger force, 
marching on to attack him, is the Austrian army under Buc- 
quoi. After a brief cannonade, they meet hand to hand ; and 
fierce and resolute is the resistance of Mansfeld and his free 
companions. But they feel that the overwhelming power of 
the enemy can not be resisted in the open field, and they re- 
treat, in good order, into the circle of their wagons, like the 
ancient Huns. There they can renew the fight with greater 
advantage ; and charge after charge of the Austrian forces is 
vigorously repelled. In vain the camp is attacked on every 
side ; the Austrian troops are getting exhausted under the 
heat of a bright day of June, and that day is drawing toward 
a close without the victory being won. 

At length, however, Wallenstein and his cuirassiers obtain 
leave to make the attack, after infantry and cavalry have both 
been repulsed. His charge is fierce ; his troopers strong and 
enthusiastic ; but how, unsupported by infantry, can he break 
through that double barricade, defended vigorously by brave 
men and veteran soldiers ? We know not how, but he has 
done it ; and Wallenstein and his troopers are in the midst 
of Mansfeld' s camp ; the rest of the Austrian forces pour in ; 
the victory is won, the enemy in full flight, and the road to 
Prague is open. 

Such were the tidings which reached the court of Vienna 
and the camp of Count Thurn, spreading joy in the one and 
consternation in the other. To save the Bohemian capital 
was now the great object of the insurgents, and, breaking up 
their camp at once, they marched to meet Bucquoi under the 
walls of Prague. 

Vienna was saved by a charge of cavalry on the banks of 
the Moldau. The road to Frankfort was now free ; and Fer- 
dinand of Gratz hurried to seize the imperial crown. Almost 
at the same time when he succeeded in his object, the Hun- 
garian people formally deposed him from their throne, and 
elected Frederic, the Elector Palatine, for their king. 



286 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Bethlem Gabor now menaced Vienna ; the Bohemian 
troops hastened to join him ; terror spread before his path, 
and desolation marked where he had been. Bucqiioi, defeat- 
ed by the savage Transylvanian hordes, was unable to do any 
thing to save the capital ; and it is attributed to Wallenstein 
that the Austrian army was preserved, and enabled to effect 
its retreat into the large islands in the Danube. Neverthe- 
less, Vienna was straightened for provisions. Twelve thou- 
sand Bohemians, and an innumerable swarm of Transylvani- 
ans and Hungarians, lay within sight of the city, and one 
bold effort would have put the allied armies in possession of 
the capital. But time was wasted ; bad weather set in ; and 
the commencement of an unusually early and severe winter 
drove the Bohemians back to their homes. Bethlem Gabor 
retired to enjoy what he had acquired, and once more Vienna 
was saved. 

At the same time policy had been acting her part. Max- 
imilian of Bavaria, one of the shrewdest and most calculating 
princes of the age, had been gained over to the party of the 
emperor ; France had been secretly dealt with ; and a dis- 
graceful convention was entered into at Ulm, between the 
body called the Catholic League, of which Maximilian was 
the head, and the princes of the Protestant Union, of whom 
Frederic, the Elector Palatine, had been the nominal leader. 
Those princes now bound themselves to afford no aid to the 
newly-elected King of Bohemia, except in defense of his he- 
reditary dominions, while those of the Catholic League did 
not bind itself to give no succor to the emperor. The former, 
as is but too common with Protestant princes, sacrificed the 
interests of their religion, without remorse, to their personal 
policy ; and the spirit of liberty displayed in the kingdom of 
Bohemia was quite sufficient to counterbalance, in the minds 
of sovereigns, the merits of the Protestant cause, in defense 
of which that kingdom first raised the standard of revolt. 
Although many other causes combined to produce indifference 
to the fate of Bohemia in the surrounding states ; though 
jealousy, love of tranquillity, fear of the power of Austria, to- 
gether with a thousand petty passions, all had their part, yett 
there can be no doubt that a dull and unexpressed dislike to 
revolutionary movements, however great the provocation and 
however just the cause, had no slight share in withholding a 
multitude of the German princes from taking part with Bo- 
hemia, in its resistance to a power which was becoming dan- 
gerous to the liberties of all the German people. 



VV A L L E N S T E I N. 287 

Nevertheless, several distant states either saw advantages 
to be gained by the humiliation of Austria, or dangers to be 
avoided by raising up a barrier to the advance of her power. 
Denmark and Sweden, Holland and Venice, with several even 
of the German states, recognized Frederic as King of Bohe- 
mia, and consequently acknowledged the justice of the act 
which placed him on the throne. 

The more powerful of these states, however, were far dis- 
tant ; the others were slow to act ; Ferdinand of Gratz had 
obtained great moral power by his election ; Maximilian of 
Bavaria was as active and energetic as cold and politic ; and 
before any great movement was made by the allies of Bohe- 
mia to check the arms of the Catholic allies, the Bohemian 
crown was lost and won ; and the battle of Prague decided 
the fate of Frederic, and left his kingdom at the mercy of a 
conqueror. This event occurred on the 8th of November, 
1620 ; Frederic fled from the capital in despair, and the 
whole of Bohemia submitted. 

Wallenstein was not present at the battle of Prague, but 
was occupied with a body of troops in some operations of in- 
ferior importance. He was sent shortly after to maintain the 
imperial power in the province of Moravia ; and, during three 
months, policy superseded vengeance. It was not till the ar- 
rangements of the imperialists and the Bavarians were com 
plete, and insurrection was guarded against in every quarter 
that the sword was unsheathed to punish. Then many of th( 
noblest, the bravest, and the most virtuous in the land were 
led to public execution ; the estates of a still greater numbei 
were confiscated and ordered to be sold ; and Bohemian exile* 
crowded the courts of Europe. A general decree of proscrip 
tion afterward followed, by which all Protestants were ban 
ished from the kingdom ; and the estates of more than sb 
hundred forfeited nobles were sold to the best bidders. 

It is not necessary here to dwell upon the barbarous cruelt) 
of the victors. Nothing that the blackest page of history can 
show equals the crimes that were perpetrated. Tyranny and 
despair, in many places, produced resistance ; and resistance 
was drowned out in blood. The innocent were confounded 
with the guilty, the submissive with the refractory. Old and 
young were slaughtered together ; neither age, nor sex, nor 
station, nor character, afforded protection ; the flame of burn- 
ing towns and villages rose up throughout the kingdom ; and 
the land was watered with the gore of its inhabitants. 

Wallenstein took no part in these atrocities. Though a 



288 . DARK SCEiNES OF HISTORrY. 

steadfast Roman Catholic, he had not imbibed the spirit of 
persecution. But sad to say, not called upon to exercise his 
military talents, he engaged in meaner pursuits mean, even 
where the object is elevated by tjie grandeur of the motive. 
To be covetous from ambition can never dignify covetousness. 
Wallensteiri's sole occupation, for many months after his re- 
turn to Olmutz, seems to have been the acquisition of con- 
fiscated estates. The market was glutted with them : few 
could be found wealthy enough to purchase ; their tenure, too, 
might be somewhat precarious ; and, consequently, the price 
was very low. To what extent his acquisitions went at this 
time, I do not know, but they were undoubtedly very great ; 
and, within about four years after the battle of Prague, he 
had expended, in the purchase of domains, nearly eight mill- 
ions of florins. Each of these estates, it is calculated, was 
sold to him at less than a third of its real value, so that the 
extent of the possessions he acquired may be very easily con- 
ceived. 

Where the money was obtained to pay for them has been 
made a matter of doubt ; but wealth begets wealth ; the 
revenues of one domain, so cheaply purchased, soon supplied 
the means of acquiring another ; and it must ever be remem- 
bered that, though splendid in his hospitality, luxurious in his 
style of living, and liberal to all who served him, Wallenstein 
conducted his domestic affairs with a degree of care, accuracy, 
and economy perfectly marvelous. In the heat of war and 
in the eagerness of political negotiation, he never forgot for a 
moment the most thoughtful supervision of his vast estates. 
The most minute details seemed not insignificant in his eyes, 
the grandest schemes of improvement not too vast for the reach 
of his mind ; and, from the care of his poultry-yard to the 
building of cities, the foundation of schools and colleges, and 
the regulation of the power of the priesthood in his domains, 
nothing was forgotten, neglected, or postponed. His letters 
show a variety of objects, a combination of powers, and a gen- 
eral grasp of mind perhaps unparalleled. 

While thus occupied in acquiring, regulating, and improv- 
ing, the military genius of Wallenstein was not allowed to 
slumber unemployed. Bethlem Gabor again troubled the 
Austrian empire, and in the Hungarian war, as it is some- 
times called, gained immense and extraordinary success, when 
the composition of his armies is considered. Dampier and 
Bucquoi fell before him ; no effort of the emperor seemed capa- 
ble of stopping his advance ; and he received no check of any 



W A L L E N S T E I N. 289 

importance till Wallenstein was called into the field against 
him. But then the balance turned. The Bohemian and the 
Transylvanian met at Schamitz ; Bethlem Q-abor had not 
concentrated his whole army, and was defeated; and again 
at Kremser, "Wallenstein was victorious over another division 
of the Transylvanian forces, toward the end of 1621. The 
Prince of Transylvania sued for and obtained peace, and re- 
tired to prepare for a renewal of the war. 

Less than two years had elapsed ere Bethlem Gabor was 
again in the field ; but Wallenstein seems to have been in 
some degree neglected, or, at all events, his merits were not suf- 
ficiently appreciated. An Italian officer, of the name of Ca- 
raffa, was appointed to the chief command of the army against 
the Transylvanians ; and Wallenstein occupied an inferior 
position. Wallenstein was not altogether above jealousy. 
He wooed glory as a bride, and would not share the possession 
with any one. He kept aloof from Caraffa, with the corps 
which he commanded. Not, indeed, that he showed any 
criminal neglect, as has been stated ; for of that there is not 
the slightest proof, and Caraffa' s force and high military repu- 
tation seemed to render the immediate co-operation of Wal- 
lenstein unnecessary. Caraffa, however, was defeated and 
surrounded. No means of escape were left him ; and his 
whole army was in the most perilous position. . But Wallen- 
stein appeared at the critical moment, to deliver the imperial 
general; the blockade was .forced, and the army saved. 

Honors now began to flow in upon Wallenstein. His mili- 
tary skill and great services were' admitted by all men ; and 
he was created Duke of Friedland, with the dignity of Count 
Palatine. This elevation gave him the power of honoring 
those who served him, for attached to it was the privilege of 
granting patents of nobility, as well as that of coining money. 
But the new prince, for as such we must now regard him, 
was not without enemies and difficulties. Charges were from 
time to time made against him at the imperial court ; and 
certainly, the license which he tolerated, if he did not en- 
courage it, in the armies he commanded, gave just ground for 
complaint. He acted upon the principle of making the war 
keep the war ; and at this Ferdinand had no right to mur- 
mur ; for the imperial: treasury was very low; both soldiers 
and officers badly paid ; and the armies, absolutely necessary 
for the defense of the empire, could not have been kept on foot 
by any other means. Wallenstein seems to have gone some- 
what further, indeed, and to have taken little heed if the con- 

N 



Q90 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

tributions, raised by his officers in the countries where they 
were quartered, amounted to a sufficient sum to reward them 
for their military services, as well as to supply the troops with 
necessaries. Great was the murmuring, then, of the districts 
through which the triumphant general passed ; and the em- 
peror, while loading him with distinctions, had more than 
once to~ remonstrate against the exactions which he permitted. 
The enthusiastic love and admiration of the soldiery, how- 
ever, followed their ever-liberal leader ; and all men were 
eager to serve under one with whom honor and wealth were 
sure to be acquired. 

Very different was the conduct of Wallenstein in regard to 
his own domains, and to those which were the theater of war. 
Without dwelling long upon the subject, and particularizing 
various instances of his paternal care and judicious activity in 
promoting and securing the prosperity and happiness of his 
people, it would be difficult to give even a faint idea of the 
zealous and watchful interest he took in their welfare. Suf- 
fice it that nothing was neglected, and that, had we not the 
records of his military achievements and his political plans, 
we might conceive, frqm his letters, that his mind had been 
incessantly occupied by the care of his vast possessions. 

While Wallenstein was combating the Turkish arid Tran- 
sylvanian hordes in the south and east, events were taking 
place in the north and west of Germany which opened for 
him a wider field, and a more glorious and dangerous career. 
The unhappy Elector Palatine, driven in sorrow and disgrace 
from Bohemia, soon saw himself stripped of his hereditary do- 
minions by the power and authority of Austria, the arms of 
Bavaria and the Catholic League, and the military skill of 
Tilly. The Protestant princes of the empire, in general, 
showed the most shameful and lamentable indifference, both 
to the fate of their brother and ally and to the religious and 
political perils which menaced themselves. The only persons 
who attempted to stem the torrent of Austro-Catholic invasion 
in the Palatinate were Count Mansfeld, the Margrave of Ba- 
den Durlach, and Duke Christian of Brunswick. A small 
corps of English auxiliaries assisted ; and great courage, en- 
ergy, and resolution were displayed ; but against Spinola with 
a Spanish, and Tilly wjth a Bavarian army, the ground could 
not be maintained. Battles and skirmishes were fought and 
lost ; towns were besieged and taken, till at length the Cath- 
olic League was master of the Palatinate ; and the power of 
the emperor menaced the liberties of all Germany. 



WALL EN STEIN, 291 



CHAPTER III. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

THE very extremity of the peril, the very depression of the 
powers of Protestant Germany, at length called into active 
resistance those who should have resisted long before. The 
Elector of Saxony, a base and selfish man, had openly taken 
part with the house of Austria, in putting down the insurrec- 
tion of Bohemia ; but Ferdinand was not a^man to be very 
grateful for services, the objects of which were all ambitious ; 
and the elector saw, with dismay, the extent of power to 
which Austria had attained. The proceedings of the emper- 
or, too, gave good reasons for supposing that the laws of the 
empire itself would be considered no barrier to his designs. 
His dealings with the conquered Palatinate had been opposed 
to all law, and carried out in spite of all remonstrance ; and 
Bavaria and Austria still kept the sword unsheathed, without 
notifying against whom it was next to be directed. 

Tilly, the great general of the Roman Catholic League, 
very soon, upon frivolous pretenses, pushed his excursions into 
Lower Germany ; and it began to be feared, or understood, 
that the strong-hold of Protestantism in the empire was to be 
invaded by the same powers which had completely subdued 
the south. These apprehensions counseled preparation; and 
it is probable that, when once the determination to resist was 
adopted, the views of the Protestant states went further ; that 
the egregious error which they had committed, in remaining 
inactive so long, was perceived ; and that a resolution was 
taken to atone for the past, as well as to guard against the 
future. To reduce the authority of the emperor to its lawful 
limits, and to break the exorbitant power of the Catholic 
League, were objects which naturally presented themselves to 
the minds of men ; and there can be little doubt that these 
objects were sought for by the Protestants, as well as those 
which they avowed. 

The circles of Lower Saxony began to, arm ; negotiations 
were entered into with neighboring and remote powers. En- 
gland, Denmark, Sweden, Venice, Holland, France, were ap- 
plied to ; and hopes and encouragements of some kind were 



292 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

derived from all. The spirit spread. The administrator of 
Magdeburg, the Duke of Brunswick, the Duke of Mecklen- 
burg, took part with the circles of Lower Saxony ; England 
promised men and money ; and Christian IV. of Denmark 
made ready for the field. Arms, troops, and stores were col- 
lected ; magazines were formed ; fortifications were repaired ; 
and an army of sixty thousand men started up to defend the 
liberties which had been so long forgotten. 

The cabinet of Vienna was both angry and alarmed. Re- 
monstrances and threats were used, but without success. The 
confederates wefe too strong to be apprehensive, and were now 
alive to evils which they had long overlooked. The King of 
Denmark, too, had in his large continental possessions both a 
motive and an encouragement ; for the safety of Holstein and 
Jutland depended upon the safety of Lower Saxony ; and nei- 
ther Denmark nor Sweden could see the power of the emper- 
or extended, with unlimited sway, to the shores of the Baltic, 
without jealousy and alarm. At the same time, those two 
possessions insured to the King of Denmark both support and 
retreat, in case of disaster in Germany proper ; and, although 
a lover of pleasure, and in some degree addicted to excess, 
Christian IV. of Denmark was a warlike prince and a skill- 
ful soldier. He received the command-in-chief of the Protest- 
ant army, but prudently waited for aggression on the part of 
the enemy. 

The imperial orders were given, after all negotiations had 
failed ; and Count Tilly, following the course of the Weser, 
advanced, as if to put the contest to the issue of a battle. 
The principality of Kalemberg was soon overrun by the Ba- 
varian troops, while the King of Denmark, on the right bank 
of the Weser, spread himself out in the Duchy of Brunswick, 
weakening somewhat too much, it is said, the main body of 
his army by detachments sent to protect particular points of 
importance. Tilly, however, was not strong enough to under- 
take much in the presence of such a general as Christian IV., 
and no great progress was made on either side. 

At length, however, the concentration of the King of Den- 
mark's forces, the reappearance of Mansfeld and Christian of 
Brunswick in the field, and the rumor of fresh levies in Lower 
Saxony, with the threatening aspect of Sweden, and the cer- 
tainty that active negotiations for help were going on between 
the Protestant leaders and foreign countries, compelled Tilly 
to apply to the emperor for prompt and immediate support. 

Ferdinand, however, had nothing to give ; his resources 



W A L L E N S T E I N. 293 

were exhausted ; the Austrian troops were all employed, either 
in keeping in subjection the south of Germany, or in watch- 
ing the enemies which menaced the empire from the side of 
Transylvania. All the greatest achievements of the war had 
been effected by the forces of Bavaria and the Catholic League, 
which were now found insufficient to attain the object in view 
in Northern Germany ; and Ferdinand was not well pleased 
to be wholly dependent upon Bavaria and the Catholic League 
for success and power. Not only, however, did there seem no 
remedy for a state so dangerous to the permanence of his au- 
thority, but the advantages gained seemed likely to be wrest- 
ed from him, and his overbearing rule greatly reduced. In 
this dilemma, without men, without money, without means 
of any kind to recover a decided preponderance in the field, 
Ferdinand received an offer which seemed to many of his 
courtiers merely the vision of a presumptuous madman, and 
even to Ferdinand himself must have appeared delusive. 

Wallenstein came to the emperor's aid, and proposed, on 
certain conditions, to raise and equip, by his own exertions, an 
army of fifty thousand men. It is generally stated that this 
was to be done at his own expense ; but this is not exactly 
accurate, although undoubtedly all the labor, and the first 
great expenses, fell for the time upon Wallenstein. It ap- 
pears clear, however, that that great officer was ultimately to 
be repaid, either from the imperial treasury, or from contri- 
butions arid confiscations in the countries which he was des- 
tined^ to invade ; and he avoided a considerable portion even 
of the first expenses by the method he took to gather his army 
together. He stipulated for, and received power to repay him- 
self and reward his officers ; and he apparently left the same 
liberty to those commanders who brought him in bodies of 
volunteers. Stripped of all decent formalities, what he de- 
manded and what he gave was a general commission to plun- 
der to a certain amount ; and we find indications of the ex- 
tent to which the commission was nominally limited ; for we 
are assured that the imperial government, though it paid noth- 
ing in the first instance, allowed six hundred thousand florins 
as levy money for each infantry regiment. This was evident- 
ly to be obtained how the officers could ; but it is clear that 
accounts were to be kept, and afterward arranged with the 
emperor's treasury. 

The offer was a great relief to Ferdinand ; but, while some 
laughed at the proposal as chimerical, others insinuated ap- 
prehensions in regard to the views of the proposer. The em- 



294 DARK S'CENES OF HISTORY. 

peror sought to diminish the numbers of the stipulated force ; 
but Wallenstein was firm. He represented that a less num- 
ber of men would not even be able to maintain themselves, 
much less to effect any important object. The emperor, of 
course, yielded ; and Wallenstein, raising his standard at Egra, 
called all soldiers who were willing to serve under him to as- 
semble at certain appointed places. 

With marvelous quickness, a powerful army started into 
existence. The fame of- Wallenstein had spread to every part 
of Europe ; and all the adventurous soldiers at that time un- 
occupied rushed from north, south, east, and west toward Bo- 
hemia, to enlist under the great and liberal commander. No 
questions were asked ; no country, no religion was an objec- 
tion. Strength, courage, arms of some kind, were the only 
things required of any man. In a month twenty thousand 
soldiers were ready for the field ; and very shortly after, Wal- 
lenstein was marching toward Lower Saxony at the head of 
thirty thousand men. 

The rapidity with which this extraordinary undertaking 
was executed, of course left little time for equipment or for 
training. The army was ragged and ill-disciplined. But 
splendor soon succeeded to the appearance of poverty ; and, in 
a very few weeks, discipline was sufficiently established to en- 
able the general to defeat completely the forces of the Duke 
of Brunswick Lunenberg, at Gottingen. 

These troops had been sent, apparently, to prevent his ef- 
fecting a junction with Tilly ; but Wallenstein had no inten- 
tion of effecting such a junction at all. He would have no 
commander to overrule his plans, no comrade to share in his 
glory. Keeping aloof from Tilly, but holding constant com- 
munications with him, in which the struggle for superior au- 
thority was sometimes visible, Wallenstein thought it enough 
to divide, and defeat in detail the armies of the confederate 
states, leaving Tilly to do the same on his part. 

His appearance in the field, the extent of his forces, and the 
success of his operations, soon drove the King of Denmark and 
the Lower German states to open a negotiation for peace. 
Tilly, it would appear, might have suffered himself to be 
brought to mild terms, or to be lulled into inactivity by spe- 
cious proposals ; but Wallenstein cut the negotiation short, 
by demands too outrageous and domineering to be listened to 
by a king at the head of sixty or seventy thousand men. 

No very striking events occurred in the latter part of 1625 ; 
and it is probable that the exhausted state of the country, 






W A L L E N S T E I N. 295 

swept by such numerous armies, a large portion of which nei- 
ther spared nor economized, prevented rapid or decided move- 
ments on either side. Still, however, Wallenstein gained 
ground, and still his forces increased, while he labored dili- 
gently, in the midst of all his purely military operations, to 
obtain more certain supplies than the countries which he in- 
vaded could afford. All the resources of his own principali- 
ties were taxed to the utmost, to furnish stores for the impe- 
rial troops ; and although we must not say that he organized 
a commissariat, yet he certainly made some steps toward the 
improvement of a branch of -military science, not even now 
sufficiently attended to, and then very generally neglected. 

The next campaign was opened early in the year, by Tilly 
on the Weser, and Wallenstein on the left bank of the Elbe. 
The first operations of the latter general were undertaken in 
the little duchy of Anhalt, where he seized upon the bridge 
over the Elbe at Dessau, in order to command a free passage 
at any time over the river, and open a way into Brandenburg. 
Strong redoubts were immediately erected on the right bank ; 
and the importance of this position being instantly seen by the 
Protestant princes, Count Mansfeld, with his veteran bands, 
was ordered to attack the bridge, and make every effort to ob- 
tain possession of the passage. Three several battles or skir- 
mishes took place in the month of April. In the first two, all 
Mansfeld's efforts were defeated by the mere resolute defense 
of the redoubts ; but when his movements, on the 24th, an- 
nounced a renewal of the attack, Wallenstein caused the 
bridge to be hung with sail-cloth, so as to conceal his intended 
operations, passed his whole army over, and, on the 25th, is- 
sued forth to meet Mansfeld in the field, when a sanguinary 
engagement ensued, and the troops of the Protestant leader 
were routed with terrible loss. 

Nevertheless, little more than a month had passed ere the 
indefatigable Mansfeld was again at the head of twenty thou- 
sand men. A large body of English auxiliaries having landed 
at Hamburg some time before, and a portion, if not the whole, 
having gone to swell the count's force, a new plan of opera- 
tions now suggested itself to the daring Mansfeld. He had 
found means to recruit and refresh himself even in the sands 
of Brandenburg, and had also, it would appear, opened com- 
munications with Bethlem Gabor, who was now operating in 
Hungary. He determined, then, to make a dash through Si- 
lesia, in order to effect his junction with the Transylvanian, 
to be followed by a combined attack upon Vienna. 



296 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

No sooner was this design discovered by the imperial court 
than terror seized upon the emperor and his ministers. In- 
stant commands were sent off to Wallenstein to hasten after 
Mansfeld ; and although he remonstrated earnestly against 
being compelled to abandon all his plans, and pointed out the 
inevitable loss and injury which his army would sustain in 
the passage of the Carpathian Mountains, the orders to march 
were reiterated, and Wallenstein obeyed. He was not in 
time, indeed, to prevent the junction of Mansfeld's forces with 
Bethlem Gabor, and the immense loss which he had antici- 
pated took place in his own ranks. But Vienna was now pro- 
tected by a powerful army ; the supplies which Bethlem Ga- 
bor had expected did not arrive ; and, notwithstanding the 
junction of Mansfeld, he hastened, as usual, to conclude a 
hollow truce with Vienna. 

Mansfeld, mortified and disheartened, determined to seek 
supplies of money from the Venetian republic, and, resigning 
the command of his troops to a prince of Weimar, set out for 
Venice in person. He was taken ill, however, in Dalmatia, 
and died, it is said, of a broken heart, though more probably 
from one of the diseases of the country. 

Nothing more was to be done in the south of Germany. 
Wallenstein had been deprived of the *glory he had expected 
in the north ; and, placing his troops in winter quarters, he 
proceeded to Vienna, to prepare for the campaign of the suc- 
ceeding year, and to silence his enemies, who were busy at 
the ear of Ferdinand. Blame was cast upon him, both for 
what he had done and for what he had not done. Men said 
he had not obeyed with sufficient alacrity the imperial order 
to march after Mansfeld, and yet, with strange inconsistency, 
censured him for the losses which his army had sustained in 
the Carpathian Mountains, although he hadibreseen and pre- 
dicted those losses before he began the march. Another mor- 
tification, which followed his recall from the north of Ger- 
many, was to see Tilly gather the laurels which he had hoped 
to win. 

No sooner was the field clear of Wallenstein, than tHfrKing 
of Denmark attempted to take advantage of his absence for 
the purpose of carrying on more active operations. But the, 
veteran Tilly not only out-maneuvered him completely, but 
forced him to a battle at the village of Lutter, in the Barm- 
berg, and gave him a terrible defeat. Sixty standards, the 
whole artillery, baggage, and ammunition of the Danish army 
were lost, and between four and five thousand dead remained 



WALLENSTEIN. 297 

upon the field. Terror seized all the Protestant states of 
northern Germany ; the people would make no effort to sup- 
port their princes in resisting the imperial power ; and apathy 
and fear reigned supreme. The states vainly fancied that 
submission would bring peace, and that the emperor would be 
contented with the humiliation which had been inflicted upon 
them. But they soon learned that such was little the inten- 
tion of tte imperial tyrant, and still less of his haughty general. 

No sooner did spring appear than Wallenstein was in the 
field again, at the head of forty thousand men ; and his march 
was a triumphal procession through Silesia, Brandenburg, and 
Mecklenburg, to the frontiers of Holstein.' In vain did states 
remonstrate and princes sue ; in vain did some pretend neu- 
trality, and some offer submission. . Wallenstein spurned of- 
fers, proposals, and negotiations, openly proclaimed the abso- 
lute power of the emperor, and gave a significant notification 
that the German empire, as previously constituted, was to 
be brought to an end. No more electors, no more princely 
confederations : an absolute monarch and a submissive coun- 
try was that which Wallenstein proposed to raise up and to 
maintain. Neither did he desire any sharer in his counsels 
or his deeds ; and, upon an idle pretense, Tilly was sent across 
the Elbe, to keep the Dutch in check, while the imperial gen- 
eral pursued the Danish army toward its own country. 

More than once that army turned and attempted to bar 
the way ; but a series of brilliant actions at Heiligenhausen 
only added to the renown of Wallenstein and to the disasters 
of the Danes. Holstein, and Jutland itself, were overrun by 
the still increasing forces of Wallenstein ; and the King of 
Denmark was obliged to embark the ruins of his army, and 
seek refuge in his islands. All this was accomplished in one 
campaign ; and the army of Wallenstein, now swelled to the 
number of a hundred thousand men, lived at free quarters in 
the subjected principalities, raised contributions, committed all 
sorts of excesses, and punished the states of northern Germany 
for their pusillanimous inactivity. 

The Duchy of Mecklenburg was Wallenstein's reward for 
his successful campaign. Much opposition was made to the 
grant by many of the imperial counselors ; but Ferdinand had 
other debts toward Wallenstein, besides that of gratitude. 
An immense sum was owing to him for the levy and equip- 
ment of troops, and the imperial debtor had no means of re- 
paying him but by acquiescence in his ambitious demands. 
In order to press his suit with the emperor, who was then at 

N 2 



298 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Prague. Wallenstein had quitted the scenes of his conquests, 
and returned to Bohemia ; but he had left Count Arnheim in 
command of the army, and kept up with him a constant and 
eager correspondence. 

It is now that the towering genius and vast grasp of Wal- 
lenstein's mind shine out most conspicuously. Not contented 
with having rendered the emperor all-powerful in Germany, 
he resolves to make him master of the Baltic. Fleets are to 
be created ; sea-ports are to be strengthened arid improved ; 
immense naval arsenals are to be prepared ; and order after 
order is given by Wallenstein to Arnheim, with a view to the 
steps necessary for the accomplishment of these great purposes. 

At the same time, though absent, he shows great anxiety 
for the maintenance, or, perhaps, I might more properly say, 
for the- establishment of discipline in the army. He had tol- 
erated, because he was obliged to tolerate, great excesses and 
terrible exactions ; but we are bound to admit that his corre- 
spondence does not display any of that spirit of peculation of 
which he had been accused. On the contrary, we find him 
refusing indignantly any share in the contributions which had 
been demanded ; and he now gives stern and severe orders for 
punishing with the utmost rigor those officers of whose op- 
pression he had been informed. He_ even threatens Picco- 
lomini, one of his most distinguished and favorite officers, and 
refuses to countenance him in his unjust exactions. 

Notwithstanding these efforts, however, there can be no 
doubt that license of the most frightful character existed in 
his armies, which may be described as bands of robbers on a 
grand scale. He had formed and supported them, Schiller 
tells us, upon the example of Mansfeld, but the scholars soon 
exceeded the master. 

The very precarious power which a commander held over 
men so enlisted and kept together rendered Wallenstein pecul- 
iarly anxious at this time to introduce some better system ; 
for, even at the beginning of 1628, he foresaw, almost with a 
prophetic eye, the coming contest with the Swedes, and seems 
to have been fully aware of the perils and the importance of 
the struggle. Anxiously and repeatedly, in his letters, he or- 
ders all the motions of Gustavus Adolphus to be watched, 
long before that prince showed the slightest intention of invad- 
ing Germany ; and a strange sort of fear and suspicion regard- 
ing him, almost amounting to hatred, mark all Wallenstein's 
thoughts at this time. He even orders the King of Sweden's 
horoscope to be drawn by various celebrated astrologers ; and, 



WALLENSTEIN. 299 

though we know not the result, it is clear that Wallenstein 
felt a presentiment that a struggle for life and death was des- 
tined to take place between him and the Swedish monarch. 

Still he pursues his plans without hesitation, determines to 
break the maritime power of Denmark, even attempts to use 
the discontent of the Danish people, in order to dethrone 
Christian IV. and obtain the crown for the emperor ; and 
early in 1628, he resumes his military operations, and his 
great schemes for creating a naval force in the Baltic. 

Almost all the sea-ports of Pomerania and Mecklenburg 
were completely at the disposal of the great commander. One 
alone showed a determined spirit of resistance, proclaimed its 
independence, as one of the free Hanseatic Towns, and refused 
to admit the troops of the conqueror. Arnheim, in Wallen- 
stein's absence, attempted, by negotiations, persuasions, and 
threats, to gain peaceful possession of this town of Stralsund, 
which, situated in a very strong position, opposite to the Isle 
of Rugeh, was an object of anxious desire to the imperial 
commander. The people of Stralsund, however, encouraged 
by the Danes, resisted all his proposals ; and at length force 
was resorted to. By the 23d of May, Arnheim had obtained 
possession, after two attacks, of all the principal outworks ; 
but re-enforcements of English and Danish troops inspired the 
people with a determination to resist to the last ; and Wal- 
lenstein's pertinacious resolution to redura this city brought 
about the event he most dreaded, the interference of the King 
of Sweden in the war. 

Hopeless of obtaining greater support from Denmark, un- 
able to resist alone the imperial arms, the people of Stralsund 
applied to Gustavus Adolphus for assistance ; and sixteen 
hundred men, in two divisions, under David Leslie and Count 
Brahe, were at once sent for their defense. By the efforts of 
these forces, all that Arnheim had taken was soon recovered. 

Such was the state of affairs when Wallenstein joined the 
army ; and, in a general assault, at once recaptured all the 
external works, and was only repelled from the inner line of 
defenses by the gallant determination of the Scottish troops. 
His batteries soon ruined the walls, and left the place, in fact, 
no longer tenable. Negotiations for a capitulation were com- 
menced and protracted for some time ; but the arrival of a 
Danish fleet in the port, and a promise, soon fulfilled, of fur- 
ther succor, revived the courage of the inhabitants. The ne- 
gotiations were broken off, and the siege recommenced. 

The hour of fortune, however, had now passed ; tremen- 



300 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

dous rains set in ; the ground around the city became a marsh ; 
a fever broke out in Wallenstein's camp, sweeping off hund- 
reds of his men in a day ; a Danish army landed at Jasmund, 
threatening the rear of Wallenstein's army ;.and with bitter- 
ness of heart he found himself compelled to raise the siege 
and march against the enemy. The Danes, however, imme- 
diately re-embarked their troops, but landed again at Wolgast 
and Hohendorf. By a rapid and Brilliant movement the im- 
perial general surprised them before they could re-embark, 
and defeated their army with terrible loss. The Castle of 
Wolgast ehabled the routed Danish forces to gain their ships, 
by turning its guns against the enemy ; but Wallenstein's 
victory was complete, and afforded some consolation for his 
disappointment at Stralsund. 

In the mean time, all his efforts to create a fleet in the 
Baltic had proved ineffectual. The Spanish branch of the 
house of Austria had promised to put twenty large ships at 
the emperor's disposal ; but these ships never appeared ; and 
a fruitless attempt to take the town of Gliickstadt, which was 
constantly relieved by the Danish vessels, showed Wallenstein 
that a war with a naval power was hopeless without a navy. 
His views on this subject were laid in detail before the em- 
peror ; and he strongly urged the necessity of concluding a 
peace with Denmark. Ferdinand, satisfied with ih& immense 
power he had obtained, yielded a willing consent ; and Tilly 
and Wallenstein opened negotiations with Danish plenipoten- 
tiaries at Liibeck. The terms were arranged without much 
difficulty ; all the possessions of the King of Denmark were 
restored ; Christian solemnly pledged himself never to inter- 
fere any more in the affairs of Germany ; and the treaty was 
signed in 1629. 

The whole German empire seemed now at the disposal of 
Ferdinand. Every thing submitted to him. His word was, 
in fact, law in the empire ; but Wallenstein had foreseen the 
storm that was soon to burst upon Germany ; and he determ- 
ined to take at once one of those two steps which were neces- 
sary to secure the advantages gained. With the prophetical 
spirit of genius, he had perceived that, once freed to act in the 
direction which his interest and his inclination pointed out, 
Gustavus Adolphus, already renowned in arms, would carry 
war into the heart of Germany, and that he would find a vast 
body of the German people ready to make an effort, under his 
banner, to cast off the galling yoke of the emperor. Two 
great efforts were dictated by sound policy in these c ire am- 



WALLENSTEIN. 301 

stances ; first, to give Gustavus Adolphus sufficient occupa- 
tion in other lands, in order to render the execution of his de- 
signs upon Germany impossible ; and, secondly, by kindness, 
lenity, and justice, to reconcile the German people to a burden 
which pressed heavily upon them, but might be greatly light- 
ened. 

One of these efforts Wallenstein made, though not with 
that energy and greatness of conception which characterized 
almost all his designs. The other he neglected entirely. 

The King of Sweden was at war with the King of Poland ; 
the Swedish troops were actively engaged in Poland ; their 
success, and the exhausted state of his own resources, had in- 
clined Sigismund, king of that country, to listen to terms of 
accommodation. It would have been well worth the cost 
and the exertion to send thirty thousand imperial troops to 
the aid of the King of Poland, and to support him by a month- 
ly subsidy, in carrying on the war ; yes, even if the crown 
jewels had been pawned to supply the means. The theater 
of hostilities would thus have been removed from Germany. 
If Gustavus was defeated, he would be powerless against the 
empire ; if he were successful, success would be purchased by 
exertions which would exhaust his resources for many a year. 

Wallenstein, however, only sent ten thousand men under 
Count Arnheim, an officer not well disposed to the task. 
Nothing was effected ; and Arnheim himself retired from the 
imperial service. We know not whether this niggardly assist- 
ance was thus limited by the will of Wallenstein, or by that of 
his imperial master ; but it is clear that a great error was 
committed in this case. In the other, a greater was com- 
mitted still. Exhausted Germany was panting for repose : 
kindness, even moderation would have been received as the 
greatest of boons ; but a grasping and bigoted monarch had 
no notion of holding his oppressive hand. An edict was pass- 
ed, named the Edict of Restitution, by which the Protestants 
were called, upon to restore immediately all the Catholic 
Church property which had been sequestered since the year 
1555. A new interpretation was put ufjon the treaty of 
Passau ; and it was boldly, announced that all Protestants 
were liable to be driven out of the states of Catholic princes. 
Wallenstein had ever shown great toleration in his own do- 
mains ; but it is not to be denied that, if he did not- encour- 
age the emperor in this most iniquitous proceeding, he aided 
to carry out the edict in the most barbarous and relentless 
manner. 



302 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

It would be as tedious as painful to dwell upon all the 
cruelties which were committed, and the oppression that was 
exercised, by the imperial commissioners ; but a spirit of re- 
sistance was aroused in the hearts of the German people, 
which only waited for opportunity to display itself. Nor was 
it alone against the emperor that wrath and indignation was 
excited. Wallenstein drew down upon his head even more 
dangerous enmity than that which sprung up against Ferdi- 
nand. He ruled in Germany with almost despotic sway ; for 
the emperor himself seemed at this time little more than a 
tool in his hands. His manners were unpopular, stern, re- 
served, and gloomy. He shared not in the revels of his light- 
hearted and licentious officers. He communicated to none 
his plans and purposes ; and, liberal to excess of his wealth, 
he was cold and unbending in his demeanor. His haughty 
pride, too, scattered offense abroad throughout all classes. 
Princes were kept waiting in his ante-chamber ; and all peti- 
tions and remonstrances against his stern decrees were treat- 
ed with the mortifying scorn which adds insult to injury. The 
magnificence of his train, the splendor of his household, the 
luxury and profusion that spread every where around him, 
afforded continual sources of envy and jealous hate to the an- 
cient nobility of the empire. The Protestants throughout the 
land were his avowed and implacable enemies ; and the Ro- 
man Catholic princes viewed him with fear and suspicion. 
Maximilian of Bavaria, whose star had waned under the 
growing luster of Wallenstein's renown, who had lost that 
authority in the empire which he knew to be due to his serv- 
ices and his genius, solely by the rise and influence of Wallen- 
stein, and whose ambitious designs of ruling Germany through 
an emperor dependent upon him for power, had been frustrated 
entirely by the genius which placed the imperial throne upon 
a firm and independent basis, took no pains to conceal his hos- 
tility to the Duke of Friedland ; and while the faults and of- 
fenses of the great general raised up a multitude of enemies 
against him, his services, his achievements, and his virtues 
added to the number of his open and secret foes. His efforts 
to restore discipline, to check corruption, and to put an end to 
excessive exactions, proved as dangerous to him as his pride 
or his ambition. Though the soldiery still generally loved 
him, their officers hated the hand that put a limit to the op- 
pression by which they throve, and would fain have resisted 
its power. The Italian mercenaries, especially, were enraged 
by the punishments with which he visited their crimes, arid 



WALLENSTEIN. 303 

the restraints which he placed upon their licentiousness ; and 
we find the name by which he was generally known among 
them was " the tyrant." We may well suppose, too, that in 
cases where officers, independent of him, and having great 
claims upon the empire for services performed, were forced to 
apply to him, in order to obtain preferment and reward, it was 
done with a bitter heart. Wallenstein, it is true, exerted him- 
self generously to forward their views ; but we can hardly 
imagine Tilly and Pappenheim soliciting the interest of Wal- 
lenstein, without a degree of mortification which must have 
produced some enmity toward the man. 

While these feelings were gathering strength in Germany ; 
while Wallenstein, with no friends, though many supporters, 
saw himself an object of jealousy or hatred to the leaders of 
every party throughout the empire ; and while the suppressed 
but cherished indignation of all Protestant Germany was pre- 
paring for the emperor a dreadful day of reckoning, events 
were taking place in other countries which hurried on rapidly 
the dangers that Wallenstein had foreseen. 

In France, a weak king, and a powerful, politic, and re- 
lentless minister, appeared in undissembled hostility to the 
house of Austria ; and the famous Cardinal de Richelieu 
busied himself, successfully, to raise up enemies to the Ger- 
man branch of that family, while he employed the forces of 
France, either in contending with the Spanish branch, or in 
suppressing every vestige of domestic liberty. 

In Poland, Sigismund, after vainly contending with Gus- 
tavus Adolphus, and receiving an inefficient aid from Ger- 
many, was anxious to conclude the disastrous war with Swe- 
den. Richelieu interfered ; Oxenstiern negotiated on the part 
of Gustavus ; and a truce of six years was concluded in Au- 
gust, 1629, by which the veteran and victorious Swedish troops 
were set free to act in any other direction. A great part of 
Livonia was virtually ceded to Gustavus, together with the 
towns and territories of Memel, Braunsberg and Elbingen, 
and the strong fortress of Pillau. 

At the same time, Richelieu impressed upon the mind of 
Gustavus the honor, the advantage, arid the necessity of re- 
ducing the immense power of the emperor, and delivering the 
Protestant states of Germany from the oppression under which 
they groaned. Many an eager application had been made to 
the Swedish monarch by the princes of those Protestant states , 
and there can be no doubbthat now those applications were 
secretly renewed. I find it stated that " the Hanse towns 



304 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

joined in the petition, and offered the resources of 'their wealth, 
that the states of Holland warmly supported the application 
of the Protestant League, and that many of the Catholic 
princes themselves intimated that they would either remain 
neuter, or aid the King of Sweden to suppress the overgrown 
authority of a tyrannical prince." 

Confident in his own powers of mind and warlike skill, sup- 
ported by the love and admiration of his people, relying on 
the valor and discipline of his troops, and foreseeing all the 
mighty combinations which were certain to take place in his 
favor, Gustavus hesitated but little. He consulted with his 
ministers, indeed heard and answered every objection that 
could be raised ; and then applied to the Senate at Stock- 
holm to insure that his plans were approved, and that his 
efforts would be seconded by his people. His enterprise met 
with the most enthusiastic approbation ; and then succeeded 
all the bustle of active preparation. Funds, armies, arid mag- 
azines were provided ; and alliances were proposed and con- 
cluded with every power which feared or hated the house of 
Austria. 

While this storm was gathering in the North, while the 
towns of Sweden were bristling with arms, and her ports filled 
with ships, Ferdinand was driven or persuaded to an act the 
most fatal to himself, and the most favorable to the King of 
Sweden. A Diet was summoned to meet at Ratisbon early 
in the year 1630 ; and the chief object of the emperor in 
taking a step so dangerous to the power he had really ac- 
quired, and to the projects so boldly put forth in his name, 
seems to have been to cause his son to be elected King of the 
Romans, thus acknowledging the authority of those whom he 
had menaced and trampled on. 

The Diet assembled, and princes flocked thither from all 
parts of Germany ;^ but not far off, at Memingen, lay Wal- 
lenstein, at the head of an army of a hundred thousand men. 
The army was ready to obey his lightest word. He professed 
himself the devoted servant of the emperor, and neither by 
deeds nor words acknowledged any other power in Germany. 
But if Ferdinand had any idea of overawing the Diet, the 
scheme was frustrated by the skill with which its proceedings 
were arranged. Its first act was one in which the great ma- 
jority of its members were certain to agree, and which at once 
struck from beneath the hand of the emperor the staff whereon 
he leaned. After that it was easy to decide upon minor ques- 
tions, and to decide unbiased. 



WALLENSTEIN. 305 



CHAPTER IV. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

THE Diet is assembled at Ratisbon, and princes and prel- 
ates crowd the hall. Forms and ceremonies are gone through ; 
it is announced that the object of the meeting is to settle all 
undecided questions in the empire, and to establish, on a firm 
basis, a permanent and honorable peace. Those very words 
instantly raised the images of a thousand most difficult ques- 
tions ; but shortly after, the name of the archduke, King of 
Hungary, is proposed to the Diet for election as King of the 
Romans, and a scene of indescribable confusion and mur- 
muring takes place. A voice demands that, before any such 
election is considered, the complaints of the people of Germany 
against the imperial armies shall be heard ; and then a perfect 
storm of accusations pours down. Every sort of tyranny and 
oppression, every sort of cruelty and exaction, every sort of li- 
centiousness and vice is attributed to the emperor's troops ; 
but the hatred and the charges all concentrate themselves 
upon the head of the great commander of the imperial forces ; 
and there is a shout for his instant dismissal. 

Each elector has some accusation to bring, either personally 
against himself or against the soldiers under his command. 
His pride, his haughtiness, his ambition, the immense power 
and the immense wealth he has obtained, the contributions 
which have been levied under his authority, the sharp an- 
swers he has given to complaints, the contempt with which 
he has treated remonstrances from magistrates, states, and 
princes, the precision with which he has executed -the em- 
peror's decrees, the very punishments which he has inflicted 
upon his offending soldiery, are all mingled together in a chaos 
of accusation. Then, again, the licentiousness of his soldiery 
and the crimes of his officers are all charged to his account. 
Not an insolent trooper, not a peculating commissary, riot a 
lawless captain of free companions, but has done something 
for which Wallenstein is made answerable ; and the whole 
charge is summed up by pointing him out as Odium ac 
naMsea generis humani. 

Is there none in all that great assembly to speak a word 



306 DARK SCENES OF H-ISTORY. 

for the absent general ? none to point out that to his sword 
the emperor owed his salvation in his greatest need ? none 
to show that he was called upon, in the space of a few short 
weeks, to bring an army into the field capable of checking the 
King of Denmark with sixty thousand men ? none to declare 
that he was obliged to take such men as offered ? none to 
prove that he had striven to correct their vices and restrain 
their exactions ? Not one ! Every man present was his en- 
emy ; and the cry was universal, " He must be dismissed." 

The Elector of Bavaria led the way, jealous of Wallen- 
stein's fame, his wealth, and influence ; and every other fol- 
lowed, moved mostly by private passion rather than by public 
spirit ; but all joined in the one cry, and in seeking the one 
object. It is only wonderful they did not demand his head. 

But what will the emperor do, for he it is who must de- 
cide ? If he be as bold as he is ambitious, he may order the 
army to march rapidly upon Ratisbon, and crush all opposi- 
tion at one blow. If he be as resolute as he is enterprising, 
he may refuse to listen to clamor or to yield to charges un- 
proved. If he be a sincere friend, a grateful sovereign, or a 
wise prince, he will certainly support the servant who came 
to his aid in the hour of need, and who was never more need- 
ed than at the present moment. Is there none in all his court 
to represent to him that on the decision of this moment hangs 
not only the safety of the future, but the maintenance of the 
advantageous position which Wallenstein has obtained for 
him ; that, having committed the false step of calling the Diet 
together, it behooves him to resist its attempt to dictate who 
shall be his general ? 

There were some in the court who boldly took this course, 
and advanced many another argument to show that it would 
be most injudicious as well as ungrateful to yield to the de- 
mand of the Diet. Their arguments should have had the 
more weight, as it was known that no love of Wallenstein in- 
fluenced the speakers. 

But, on the other hand, the Elector of Bavaria had obtain- 
ed habitual command over the mind of the emperor. Spain, 
too, was decidedly opposed to the Duke of Friedland. His 
genius was of too commanding a character, his perceptions too 
clear, his schemes too vast, not to excite suspicion, distrust, 
and animosity in the weak, cunning, and boastful court of 
Madrid. Many of the imperial counselors had long been ar- 
rayed against Wallenstein : the lands of some of them had 
been plundered by his troops ; to some of them he had given 



WALLENSTEIN. 307 

offense by his bold language and resolute opposition ; and the 
balance of influence and authority was decidedly against him 
in the imperial court. 

Still Ferdinand hesitated, and affected much surprise at 
the charges brought against his general and his armies. He 
yielded in the end, however ; and it is said, upon very good 
authority, that his ruinous decision was brought about by the 
arts of the same skillful politician who had conjured up the 
storm which now menaced the empire from the north. Riche- 
lieu had sent an embassador to Ratisbon, upon the idle pre- 
tense of seeking, by every means, to terminate the dissensions 
which had arisen between France and Spain regarding the 
duchy of Mantua. In the train of the embassador came the 
well-known intriguing friar, Father Joseph, the most unscru- 
pulous and cunning of the cardinal's emissaries ; and he, we are 
assured, found means to persuade the emperor that, by yield- 
ing to the demand of the electors and removing Wallenstein 
for a time, he might obtain the election of the King of Hun- 
gary, and then reinstate the Duke of Friedland in his com- 
mand as soon as popular anger had subsided. 

However that might be, Ferdinand, as I have said, yielded, 
openly expressing his regret at the step he was about to take, 
and the apprehensions which he entertained for the conse- 
quences. Count Questenberg and another nobleman, who had 
been long on intimate terms with Wallenstein, were sent to 
the camp to notify to him his removal from command, and to 
soften the disgrace by assuring him of the emperor's grati- 
tude and affection. Men, however, looked anxiously for the 
result ; for the peculiar character, or, rather, quality of Wal- 
lenstein' s ambition had been misunderstood, and many antici- 
pated open resistance on the part of a general at the head v of 
a hundred thousand men. Some even feared for the personal 
safety of Questenberg and his companion, and it was clearly 
with some hesitation they themselves undertook the danger- 
ous tak. 

Surrounded by a few officers, conversing, easily and quietly, 
though with laconic brevity, in one of the halls of Memingen, 
stood a tall, spare, but powerful man, with high features, and 
small, dark, piercing eyes. He was dressed with exceeding 
splendor, and on his left hand stood an open cabinet of exqui- 
site workmanship. His brow was grave, and his face had 
habitually a stern expression, but, if any thing, the look was 
less gloomy than ordinary. The few words he spoke were 
even cheerful, and they referred to calm and happy subjects. 



308 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

A few minutes after he had entered the hall, a chamber- 
lain, in magnificent attire, threw open the door, saying, 

" Counts Questenberg and Werdenberg, your excellency, on 
a mission from his imperial majesty." 

Wallenstein bowed his head, and, preceded by a troop of 
ushers, pages, and lackeys, who ranged themselves to the right 
and left as they entered, appeared the imperial ministers. 
Wallenstein advanced to meet them with a well-satisfied and 
cordial expression of countenance ; and when Questenberg, 
after the ordinary salutations, hinted that he desired a private 
audience, the Duke of Friedland answered, with a smile, 

" It is needless, your excellency. The object of your com- 
ing is perfectly well known to me. The stars have made me 
acquainted with it long ago ;" and then, taking from the open 
cabinet an astrological table, he placed it before the eyes of 
the wondering envoys, saying, " You will perceive, by the posi- 
tion of the planets, that the star of Maximilian of Bavaria 
overrules that of Ferdinand. The emperor is betrayed. I 
grieve for him, but blame him not ; though, in truth, I am 
sorry he has given me up with so little resistance. Neverthe- 
less, I obey him." 

This was his answer to the message which took from him 
his high command. No burst of anger, no words of reproach, 
no pitiful irritation was displayed by Wallenstein. He enter- 
tained the envoys with splendor during their stay, made them 
several valuable presents, and sent them back with a letter to 
the emperor breathing calm and dignified submission, thank- 
ing the sovereign for past favors, and begging him to turn a 
deaf ear to all slanderous reports. 

Resigning the command of the army, which, under his 
guidance, had performed such splendid achievements, Wallen- 
stein retired to his town and palace of Gitchin, and devoted 
himself to the administration of his own vast domains. Ru- 
mors were, of course, current of angry feelings and evil designs 
against the emperor ; for men attributed to Wallenstein the 
same passions which would have influenced them had they 
been in his situation. Historians have not scrupled to chron- 
icle as facts the suspicions of the time ; but they all dissolve 
into mere smoke upon critical examination. All Wallen- 
stein's letters show in every line the faithful and obedient sub- 
ject, as well as the hospitable and magnificent prince. Doubt- 
less he had a consolation and a hope ; for the sword of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus was already unsheathed, and he, as well as 
others, must have perceived that the sword of Wallenstein 
must, sooner or later, be opposed to it. 



W ALLEN STEIN. 309 

Tilly took the command of the army, supported by the gal- 
lant but cruel Pappenheim ; but neither of these great officers 
seem to have had any share in the disgrace of Wallenstein. 
On the contrary, both continued to maintain with him a 
friendly correspondence ; and the admiration with which two 
of the greatest generals of the age evidently regarded him is 
a very high tribute to the merits of the Duke of Friedland. 
True it is, Tilly might think himself lucky in escaping accusa- 
tions similar to those which had ruined Wallenstein ; for his 
own forces in the Palatinate had committed fully as many 
crimes, and even greater cruelties, than the army of Wallen- 
stein in the north of Germany. But Wallenstein was an ob- 
ject of jealousy as well as hatred; and his dismissal was oc- 
casioned -not by the acts which his troops had committed, but 
by the deeds which he himself had achieved. 

It is highly to the honor of Tilly that upon one occasion, 
if not more, while he was commanding the imperial army 
with success, he warned his great rival of the rumors which 
were current against him, in order that he might be upon his 
guard. 

Wallenstein treated those rumors with the contempt they 
merited, while he felt and appreciated the honorable conduct 
of Tilly. There were other warnings, however, which, un- 
happily, merited greater attention, and received as little. 
Even in the very height of his most successful career, after 
his arms had laid Germany prostrate at the feet of the em- 
peror, and the peace of Liibeck had terminated all danger 
from Danish hostility, intimation reached him from quarters 
the least liable to suspicion, of designs upon his liberty, if not 
upon his life. Slavata, the chancellor of Bohemia, in the mid- 
dle of the year 1629, ventured to put him on his guard, in 
terms which left it doubtful whether his own imperial master 
was not already playing the traitor with his faithful servant. 

" I have been informed," he writes to Wallenstein, " by 
several persons of distinction, that Tilly has received orders 
to seize your highness and throw you into prison ; or, if that 
can not be done, to send you out of the world in a summary 
manner." 

Whether this design was entertained at so early a period, 
and, if so, whether it is chargeable upon the Bavarian or upon 
the emperor, certain it is, that Wallenstein gave no heed to 
the tale, and reproved Slavata even for listening to it, ex- 
pressing the utmost confidence both in the emperor and Tilly. 
Happy had it been for him had his confidence been extended 



310 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

less ikr. Even the most peaceable demeanor, even the calm- 
est domestic employments, even the most open display of trust 
and reliance on his sovereign's honor and gratitude, could not 
shield Wallenstein from hate and suspicion. But the time 
was rapidly approaching when his services were again to be 
required for the salvation of the monarchy, and he was spared 
to confer greater benefits, and to make ingratitude more black. 



CHAPTER V. 

f 

WALLENSTEIN. 

. THERE were negotiations which failed, and a Danish me- 
diation which was not successful in delaying the movements 
of Gustavus Adolphus ; and, leaving his daughter in the land 
which he was never more to see, the King of Sweden took 
leave of his Senate with words which left a deep impression 
on all hearts. But few of those words will I repeat ; but 
they express the motives which roused him to arms. " Not 
lightly," he said, " do I plunge you and myself into this new 
and perilous war. My witness is Almighty God, that it is 
not for pleasure that I fight. The emperor has most shame- 
fully injured me in the person of my embassadors ; he has up- 
held my enemies and persecuted my friends and brethren ; he 
has trampled my religion in the dust, and has stretched out 
his hand even to my crown. Piteously do the oppressed states 
of Germany call upon us for help, and, by God's will, so will 
we give it them." 

In the month of June, 1630, the wind at length filled the 
sails of the royal fleet ; and on the 24th of the month it ap- 
peared off the Isle of Rugen, on the coast of Pomerania.* 
The king himself was the first man who sprang on shore, 
and, kneeling on the beach, he offered thanks to God for the 
safe voyage of his fleet and army. This act of devotion of- 
fered, he commenced that course of brilliant military opera- 
tions which secured the liberty of Protestant Germany. 

It is not my object to enter into the details of his short but 
brilliant career ; but some sketch of the events must be given 

* It does not seem clear whether Gustavus first landed at Rugen-or 
Peene Munde, in Usedom. But the matter is not of auy very great 
consequence. 



WALLENSTEIN. 311 

which called forth Wallenstein from his retirement. The 
troops which follow the king are few in number ; but they 
are veterans disciplined in a peculiar manner, active, perse- 
vering, and drilled with a precision totally unknown among 
the other armies of Europe. Divested of much of the useless 
steel, which encumbered rather than protected the soldiery 
of the day, their evolutions are performed with a rapidity 
and a degree of accuracy which renders each regiment equal 
to two of the enemy ; and their fair-haired monarch, tall, pow- 
erful, and chested like a bull, is at once the greatest tactician 
and the stoutest soldier of his times. 

With a force of little more than twenty thousand men, he 
undertakes at once to establish a wide base for after opera- 
tions, by making himself master of the whole Pomeranian 
coast. With the speed of lightning Wolgast is taken, Camiri 
surrenders, the Isles of Wollin and Usedom are cleared of the 
enemy, and the Swedish army is before Stettin, Bogisla 
XIV., duke of Pomerania, is terrified, and hesitates. He 
would fain negotiate, he would fain remain neuter. 

" He who is not for us is against us," replies Gustavus ; 
and the duke is forced to decide and ally himself with the 
Swede. Town after town falls before the arms of Sweden, 
and from almost every garrison that capitulated the army 
of the Swedish monarch was recruited ; for the imperial troops 
were mostly mercenaries from foreign lands, right willing to 
take service under any great commander. Once incorporated, 
however, with the army of Gustavus, the rigid discipline of 
the Swedish regiments soon changed the habits of the men, 
and held them to their standard. 

Every day fresh bodies of men came in to join Gustavus 
from the most opposite quarters. The fragments of Mans- 
feld's army, the remnant of that of Christian of Brunswick, 
companies which had served under the King of Denmark, 
and those who had raised Wallenstein to glory, now hastened 
to serve with a greater than any, and to lose their wild habits 
under the rule of the Swede. 

While Gustavus was fixing himself firmly in the land, 
while his forces were increasing every day, while Damm, 
Stargard, Camin, Wolgast, and several other places spoke 
the success of his arms, the court of Vienna, less wise than 
Wallenstein, laughed scornfully at the invasion, and called 
the King of Sweden his Majesty of Snow, declaring that the 
cold of the north only kept his power together, and that it 
would melt away as it approached the south. Even the 



312 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Protestant Electors seemed to hold the aid he brought them 
cheap, and, at all events, derived not sufficient courage from 
his appearance in the field to make any effort against the 
emperor. 

Very different was it, however, with the people of the coun- 
try where the Swedes appeared. Gustavus had the art of 
winning hearts as well as cities ; and the tenderness and con- 
sideration which he displayed toward the districts traversed 
by his armies stood in bright contrast with the conduct of the 
imperial generals. Wherever the latter came, pillage, ruin, 
desolation spread around ; and in Pomerania especially their 
ravages were fearful, upon the pretense of laying waste the 
country before the Swedes. The Swedish soldiers paid for 
all that they required ; no man's property suffered by their 
presence ; nothing was taken but with the consent of the 
owner, who was fully recompensed for all he gave. Thus, in 
town and country, the Swedish army was received with open 
arms ; a multitude of Pomeranians took service with Gus- 
tavus ; and the states of the duchy joyfully voted a contri- 
bution of a hundred thousand florins in aid of the friendly in- 
vaders. 

The imperial troops in Pomerania, though commanded by 
a famous general, Torquato Conti, could effect nothing against 
the Swedes. Many an effort was made, but all were frus- 
trated, and an early and a cutting winter soon drove Conti to 
seek winter quarters for his sickly and disorganized forces. 
As usual, a suspension of arms was proposed for the winter, 
and deputies were sent to Gustavus to arrange the terms. 
The reply of the King of Sweden was characteristic, and not 
at all satisfactory to the envoys. 

" The Swedes," he replied, " are soldiers in winter as well 
as summer ;" and, leaving the imperial generals to do as they 
thought fit, Gustavus pursued the war. 

Every step was marked with success. The imperial troops 
were suffered to enjoy no repose in their winter quarters; 
Greiferihagen, Gartz, and Piritz were taken ; and the Aus- 
trian troops were driven into the march of Brandenburg with 
great loss, both of men and artillery. The passes of Ribnitz 
and Damgarden opened the way for the King of Sweden into 
Mecklenburg ; and the duke of that country, stripped of his 
possessions for the benefit of Wallenstein, was stirred up to 
take the field in order to recover his duchy ; but his troops 
were not able to make head against Pappenheim, who was 
sent to oppose them, and were soon almost totally dispersed. 



WALLENSTEIN. 313 

In the mean time, the barbarities exercised by the imperial 
forces in the march of Brandenburg were a disgrace to human 
nature. The elector was not at enmity with the emperor ; 
but his country was treated with more cruelty than was ever 
inflicted before upon a conquered territory ; and, weak and 
vacillating as he was, the elector was forced to issue a proc- 
lamation, commanding his people to put to death every Aus- 
trian soldier found plundering. StilL he did not venture open- 
ly to take part with the King of Sweden, who, adhering to 
his plan of securing Pomerania as a base for future operations, 
proceeded to reduce Demrnin and Colberg, and to prepare for 
the siege of Frankfort on the Oder. 

The success of the Swedish monarch bore better fruit than 
the mere capture of towns. France was encouraged to throw 
off the mask, and openly to ally herself with the Protestant 
King of Sweden. A subsidy of four hundred thousand crowns 
annually was promised on her part ; and Gustavus undertook 
to keep thirty-five thousand men in the field. The weak 
princes of Germany still hesitated to fight against their ene- 
my, and to support their deliverer ; they consulted and nego- 
tiated at Leipsic, when they should have been acting, and 
were only the more severely treated by the emperor in conse- 
quence. But the open alliance of France threw immense 
moral weight into the scale of Gustavus. 

It is true that, at this very time, a negotiation was in prog- 
ress, which might have snatched from the King of Sweden 
the fruit of all his efforts. Wallenstein, in his retirement at 
Gitchin, still kept his eyes fixed upon the game that was 
playing, and conceived a bold move, which, had it been made 
decidedly and at once, must have rendered the emperor the 
winner. He knew something of the King of Denmark, for 
he had both fought him and negotiated with him. He was 
aware that Christian regarded Gustavus with jealousy, if not 
enmity ; and he proposed that an offensive and defensive alli- 
ance should be concluded between the emperor and the King 
of Denmark, which would place the fleets and armies of the 
Danes at the back of Gustavus, while the imperial forces en- 
countered him in front. This sagacious design he communi- 
cated to the court of Vienna, and, fully authorized by the em- 
peror, conducted for some time secret negotiations with the 
King of Denmark. The latter, of course, required a bribe ; 
and the cabinet of Vienna hesitated so long as to what terri- 
tory should be given up to the Dane, that the time for action 
passed away. 

O 



314 



DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



In the mean time, Tilly busied himself in collecting the 
scattered forces of the empire, -which had been sadly shattered 
by the dismissal of Wallenstein. As soon as this was efiect- 
ed, he marched toward Pomerania, at the head of a very 
large army. He found Gustavus too strongly posted, how- 
ever, to justify an attack \ and leaving eight thousand men at 
Frankfort on the Oder, to secure his communications, he 
marched in a westerly direction to Magdeburg, taking New 
Brandenburg by the way. In the latter town, the ferocious 
soldiers of Tilly gave no quarter, and a frightful scene of mas- 
sacre took place ; but, as the imperial general marched on- 
ward toward Magdeburg, Gustavus Adolphus, quitting his 
strong position at Schwedt, made a rapid advance upon 
Frankfort on the Oder. The place was invested, as if for 
regular siege ; but the weakness of the defenses, and the ne- 
cessity of rapid success, encouraged Gustavus to attempt a 
general assault. The town was carried by storm ; and the 
garrison received nothing from the Swedes but what they 
called " New Brandenburg quarter." 

Tilly had made a movement in retreat, to relieve the town 
of Frankfort, as soon as he heard it was invested ; but, on re- 
ceiving intelligence of its fall, he resumed his march upon 
Magdeburg, and commenced the siege of that great and im- 
portant town. Its fate is well known to all readers of history, 
It was taken by a stratagem, on the 10th of May, and the 
most frightful cruelties were perpetrated with the tacit con- 
sent of Tilly. Pappenheim reveled in blood ; every crime 
that can stain human nature was committed ; women as well 
as men, infants as well as their parents, were butchered ; 
the town was set on fire in various places ; arid one of the 
finest cities in Germany, with the exception of two churches 
and a few small houses, was reduced to ashes. 

This, however, was the last success of Tilly, who boasted 
of having fought six-and-thirty battles without ever suffering 
a defeat. A greater master of the art of war was in the field, 
and the bloody and victorious career of the Waioon was draw- 
ing to a close. 

Gustavus was loudly blamed for not marching to the relief 
of Magdeburg ; and so much effect had this censure upon his 
mind, that he thought himself obliged to put forth a public 
justification. He showed that he had immediately commenc- 
ed his march to the assistance of the Magdeburgers, but that 
it was impossible for him to advance against an enemy like 
Tilly without securing a road for retreat, should it be neces- 



. 






WALLENSTEIN. 315 

sary, and the means of obtaining supplies for his army. The 
friendship of the Electors of Brandenburg and Saxony was 
more than doubtful. The former had even opened his gates 
to the Austrians, and shut them against the Swedes. Gus- 
tavus applied to both for some security that his army would 
be supplied and his retreat unmolested ; but they hesitated 
and temporized, till Magdeburg had fallen. Gustavus might 
probably have added, had it been politic to do so, that his 
army was not sufficient to encounter that of Tilly in the field 
without withdra\ving garrisons from many places that had 
been taken, which would have been too tedious an operation 
to afford even a chance of relieving Magdeburg. 

The decision, to which neither the arguments of Gustavus 
nor the necessities of their position had been able to bring the 
princes of Lower Germany, was forced upon them by the in- 
sane exultation of the court of Vienna at the fall of Magde- 
burg, and by the cruelties of the imperial commanders. Hesse 
was plundered and oppressed ; and the Landgrave of Cassel 
was threatened with all the vengeance of the imperial arms, 
unless he consented to receive Austrian troops into his land, 
to give up his fortresses to the emperor, and to raise imme- 
diate contributions for carrying on the war. The landgrave 
boldly refused ; and Tilly was marching to ravage his coun- 
try, when the movements of Gustavus forced the Waloon to 
alter his plan. The King of Sweden perceived that it was 
necessary to secure some strong places in Brandenburg, and 
he demanded possession of the town of Spandau from the vac- 
illating elector. George William would still have temporiz- 
ed ; but Gustavus would permit of no further procrastination. 
He appeared before Berlin itself, at the head of his army, and 
peremptorily demanded that the elector should declare which 
side he would take in the war. 

" I will not be worse treated," he said, " than the imperial 
general. All I demand of the elector is security and bread 
for my troops ; and this he must either give, or see his capi- 
tal taken and plundered." 

Such language, and the Swedish artillery pointed upon Ber- 
lin, soon brought the elector's hesitation to an end. Spandau 
was placed in the hands of Gustavus ; and a treaty was sign- 
ed, by which the gates of the important town of Custrin were 
to be opened, at all times, to the troops of Sweden. 

These great points accomplished, Gustavus retired into 
Pornerania, where he was received with the warmest expres- 
sions of joy by a liberated people. Shortly after, a re-enibrce- 



316 



DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



ment of eight thousand Swedes and six thousand English 
auxiliaries gave him means of prosecuting the war with great- 
er vigor ; and he once more appeared on the banks of the 
Elbe, near the spot where that river is joined by the Havel. 
His approach alarmed Pappenheim, who sent in haste to call 
Tilly to his assistance ; and the imperial general, abandoning 
his designs upon Cassel, marched rapidly to Wolmirstadt. 

The army of Gustavus was still infinitely inferior to the 
united forces of the Austrians. But the king took up a com- 
manding position at Werben, and intrenched himself so strong- 
ly, with earth-works of great extent, that his camp became 
almost impregnable. He did not, it is true, restrict himself 
entirely to this position, for we find that the Swedes cut oft' 
three regiments. of Austrians, posted at too great a distance 
from head-quarters. This loss seems to have stimulated Tilly 
to make an attack upon Gustavus's intrenchments at Werben, 
from which the king would not suffer himself to be drawn to 
risk a general battle. All the efforts of the Austrians, how- 
ever, were ineffectual ; and repulsed at every point with loss, 
they were obliged to retreat to Wolmirstadt, an immense 
multitude deserting by the way. 

Shortly after, the Landgrave of Hesse Cassel, whose bold 
reply to Tilly had done so much honor to his name, appeared 
in the camp of the Swedes ; the first reigning prince who, of 
his own free will, declared for the liberty of his country. The 
King of Sweden received him joyfully ; and a treaty of alli- 
ance was signed, which was honorably kept by both parties 
until the peace of Westphalia. 

In the mean while, however, the imperial court seemed re- 
solved to drive all the princes of Lower Germany into the 
arms of Sweden. Tilly was ordered to bring the neutrality 
of the Elector of Saxony to an end, by requiring him to re- 
ceive the imperial troops, to carry the Edict of Restitution 
into execution, and either to disband his own forces, or to 
unite them with the imperial army against the King of 
Sweden. Saxony was powerful, populous, and wealthy, and 
Gustavus Adolphus was near at hand. Tilly was not ig- 
norant of the danger of the step he was forced to take, nor of 
the high qualities of the enemy who lay at Werben, watch- 
ing his movements. He had already, at Ratisbon, pointed 
out the immense abilities and the great power of Gustavus, 
and had ended by saying, " This is a player, against whom 
to lose nothing is to win much." 

The court of Vienna paid no attention to his remonstrances, 



W ALLEN STEIN. 317 

however, and its commands were conveyed by a messenger 
to the double-dealing Elector of Saxony. Indignation over- 
came doubt and timidity. The elector rejected the terms of- 
fered, and sent off' an embassador to treat with the King of 
Sweden. Tilly immediately entered his territories, with an 
army re-enforced by five-and-twenty thousand veteran soldiers. 
Blood and pillage spread over the whole land ; and more 
than a hundred villages were burned to the ground, while 
the embassador of the elector was treating with the King of 
Sweden. 

Gustavus received the propositions of Saxony with great 
coldness. He pointed out to Count Arnheim, who had now 
taken service under the elector, and who was the person sent 
to treat with him, that he could put no trust in the good faith 
of John George, especially while his ministers were known to 
be in Austrian pay. When pressed to explain what would 
satisfy him, he demanded that the fortress of Wittenberg 
should be given up to him, that the elector's eldest son should 
be placed in his hands as a hostage, that his troops should re- 
ceive three months' pay at once, and that the traitors in the 
Saxon ministry should be delivered to him. 

These seemed hard conditions to Arnheim ; and, retiring 
from the Swedish camp, he carried, what he thought, the bad 
tidings to his master. But the elector now knew that there 
was no safety for him but in the alliance of Sweden ; and he 
exclaimed, " Not only Wittenberg, but Torgau and all Sax- 
ony, shall be open to him. He shall have my whole family 
as hostages ; and, if that is not enough, myself also. Hasten 
back to him, and say that I am ready to give him up any 
traitors he will name, and at once to pay the subsidy that is 
demanded." 

Gustavus, however, had only rendered the conditions ex- 
cessive in order to try the good faith of the elector ; and he 
immediately reduced his demands, on that prince's frank ac- 
knowledgment of his necessities. A treaty was instantly 
signed ; the Saxon army was close to the banks of the Elbe ; 
Gustavus made not the slightest delay, but crossed the river 
at Wittenberg, and effected his junction with the forces of the 
elector. 

Tilly had made no movement to impede this operation, but 
had proceeded to besiege Leipsic, which fell after a very brief 
resistance. The capitulation was signed in the house of a 
grave-digger ; and it was now high time that Tilly should pre- 
pare for battle. Gustavus, with the united Swedish and 



318 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Saxon army, was in full march upon Leipsic. At Torgau a 
council of war was held, to determine what was to be done ; 
but the opinion of Gustavus was decidedly in favor of risk- 
ing a general battle, and it prevailed. 

Early on the morning of the 7th of September, 1631, the 
two hostile armies came in sight of each olher ; and very soon 
after, the engagement began. I will not dwell upon the 
events of that great day, when was fought the battle of Brei- 
tenfeldt, or, as it is more commonly called, of Leipsic. Suf- 
fice it that the right wing of the allied army, composed almost 
altogether of Saxon troops, was completely routed by the Aus- 
trians, and fled. But victory often did more harm to the im- 
perial armies than defeat. Plunder and pursuit occupied a 
great number of Tilly's men ; the Swedish forces were not 
only unbroken, but making progress rapidly against the ene- 
my ; the brilliant charges of Pappenheim, and the cool and 
resolute efforts of Tilly, produced no effect ; a number of Aus- 
trian guns were taken and turned against the flank of their 
army ; and, after the hardest fought field of the whole war, 
the imperial troops were routed with great slaughter. Gus- 
tavus remained the master of the field. The total loss of 
Tilly is estimated at ten thousand men ; he himself, severely 
wounded, barely escaped with life ; the fiery and resolute Pap- 
penheim was ibrced to fly among the last ; and a hundred 
standards, thirty pieces of artillery, three thousand prisoners, 
and the whole baggage of the imperial army, attested the 
complete success of the King of Sweden. The army of 
Sweden lost only seven hundred men in killed and wounded ; 
but the defeated Saxons counted two thousand missing ; and 
the whole glory of the field remained with Gustavus. At 
the moment when success was most needed to decide the 
wavering, encourage the faint-hearted, and strengthen the 
brave and determined in perseverance, victory showed itself 
on the side of Gustavus ; and the battle of Leipsic was worth 
the whole of his other achievements. 

As soon as the news was known and believed at Vienna, 
consternation spread through the imperial court ; and every 
one expected to see the victorious Swede under the walls of 
the capital. But Gustavus determined to follow another 
course ; and his policy has been severely criticised, not alto- 
gether without justice ; for much was to be said in favor of 
an advance upon Vienna, although the failure of many other 
commanders might do something to deter from such a step. 
The great battle which had been gained, the dispersion of the 






-' ? 

WALLEN8TEIN. 319 

imperial troops, the consternation which existed in the capital, 
and the vast accession of strength which was obtained by the 
King of Sweden, justified perhaps the boldest measures. But 
the plan of Gustavus was in itself bold and energetic, and 
was framed with a view to great political results, which could 
not be obtained by an advance upon Vienna. The Protestant 
states of the central and western parts of Germany had been 
stricken down, and cast into a condition of apathetic despair 
by the long triumph of the imperial arms. A single victory, 
in a remote part of Germany, was not sufficient to raise them 
up from the moral stupor into which they had fallen. It re- 
quired the presence of the victor among them : it required 
efforts and achievements under their own eyes, to restore to 
them vigor, and activity, and warlike strength. It might 
enter into the calculations of the conqueror of Tilly, that his 
small army was but the nucleus of an avalanche which must 
be gathered round it as it rolled on to overwhelm the imperial 
power in the heart of the Austrian dominions, and that the 
central and western parts of Germany afforded the field where 
the greatest accession of strength was to be gained. He re- 
solved, therefore, to send the Saxon arrny into Bohemia, where 
it seemed that much was to be gained and little to be lost, 
and to march in person across the whole empire, direct toward 
the banks of the Rhine. 

His progress was one continued triumph ; and the effect 
f his appearance among the Protestant princes, who had so 
long tamely submitted to oppression, was marvelous. Soldiers 
flocked to his standard from all quarters ; nobles and electors 
unsheathed the swords which had seemed glued to their scab- 
bards ; and few places, even belonging to the Roman Catho- 
lics, ventured to resist. Wurtzburg, Hanau, Wertheim, were 
taken, the two first by surprise, the latter by storm ; and 
Frankfort itself received the conqueror. 

The army of the Duke of Lorraine, which made a faint 
effort to impede the progress of the Swedes in Franconia, dis- 
persed like snow under the sun ; and, approaching the Rhine 
at Oppenheim, Gustavus forced the passage of the river in 
presence of the Spanish troops collected on the left bank. 
Oppenheim was taken ; and the strong city of Mayence fell 
after a short siege. Worms, Spires, Landau, and a number 
of other less important places were captured by the Swedish 
monarch ; and almost all that Tilly, and Spinola, and Wal- 
lensteiri had gained were now lost to the emperor. Mayence 
remained the head-quarters of Gustavus for some weeks ; but 






320 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

early in the spring he made a dash at Bavaria, appeared be- 
fore Donauwerth, took it by a coup-de-main, and passed the 
Danube. 

After the defeat of Tilley at Leipsic, all eyes turned to 
Wallenstein. Pappenheim himself declared that they had 
no hope but in him ; and the emperor would doubtless have 
sought his assistance immediately, but that a strong party in 
the court and cabinet of Vienna, and a still stronger party in 
the Catholic League, headed by Maximilian of Bavaria, could 
not lay aside their jealous suspicions, and opposed his recall to 
power even to the last. 

In the mean time, while Gustavus was pursuing his con- 
quering course, and the Saxons were penetrating into Bohe- 
mia, and subduing the whole land, Tilly gathered together 
the fragments of his army. Great exertions, too, were made 
by the Elector of Bavaria to raise sufficient forces to check 
the advance of the Swedes, and prevent their junction with 
the Saxons under the walls of Vienna. 

Tilly, once more able to appear in the field, again displayed 
his energy and skill, and took up one of the strongest positions 
in Germany, behind the River Lech, near the spot where it 
flows into the Danube at Rain. The frontiers of Bavaria 
were thus defended ; the position seemed impregnable ; and 
Maximilian himself took part in the operations of the Waloon 
general, hoping to see the storm of war turned away from his 
own electorate. Seventy-two pieces of artillery defended the 
camp ; the river was deep and rapid ; the banks not very ac- 
cessible, and the army well supplied. 

Nothing, however, could withstand the genius and impet- 
uosity of Gustavus. His own officers attempted to dissuade 
him from attacking the imperial forces ; but the King of 
Sweden knew the courage of his troops and his own resources. 
A wooden bridge was thrown over the river with extraordi- 
nary rapidity, a cavalry ford was found higher up the stream ; 
the Swedish foot passed the bridge under a tremendous fire, 
and the horse crossed by the ford. The right bank of the 
Lech was gained ; and the forces of Gustavus began to form, 
while the auxiliary troops were passing. Tilly saw that every 
thing must be hazarded at that critical moment, arid a gen- 
eral attack was immediately ordered. But the Swedish ar- 
tillery had already opened their fire ; and the ball of a small 
piece called a falconet struck the imperial general in the knee, 
crushing the bone. Nearly at the same time, General Al- 
tnnger, the second in command, was also wounded and car- 



WALLENSTEIN. 321 

ried from the field ; and the imperialists, deprived of their 
generals, fled in confusion. The Elector of Bavaria, with a 
small body of horse, did all that was possible to rally the 
routed troops, and succeeded in leading a considerable body 
of men to Ingoldstadt during the night. Thither, too, was 
Tilley carried ; but on the following day the brave old Wa- 
loon died, recommending, with his expiring breath, that In- 
goldstadt should be defended to the last. 

Nothing could stop Gustavus ; but, pursuing his career 
along the Lech, he made himself master of Augsburg and 
Landshut, and then dashed on upon Munich, which received 
him with prayers and supplications. No cruelties were exer- 
cised by the Swedish monarch. The rich, indeed, were forced 
to contribute somewhat largely to the support of his army ; 
but considerable sums were distributed among the poor of the 
city by the generous conqueror. 

Nothing now remained to the emperor but his hereditary 
dominions. His power was at an end on the Rhine, on the 
Elbe, on the Oder. The Saxons were in possession of Bo- 
hemia ; the Swedes occupied Bavaria ; he had no army in 
the field, no general to command, no money to raise forces. 
The misuse of power had plunged him from the highest point 
of authority to the lowest depth of despair ; and its conse- 
quences now forced him to degradation. He had to apply to 
one whom his folly had abandoned, and whom his ingratitude 
might well have disgusted. 



CHAPTER V. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

IN peaceful arts, and calm and tranquil pleasures, passed 
the days of Wallenstein after his removal from the command 
of the imperial army. Arts and sciences received encourage- 
ment at his hand ; his people were improved and benefited ; 
and his mighty genius seemed to repose in peace upon all the 
softer things of life. I have shown, however, that he took a 
deep interest in the welfare of his imperial master, and that 
he proposed plans for his sovereign's benefit, which nothing 
deprived of success but the niggardly and bigoted spirit of 

02 



322 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the man he attempted to serve. Thus was frustrated the 
projected treaty with Denmark. Had it been carried out, 
Gustavus would never have appeared in Munich, nor Arriheim 
have taken Prague. 

Though still hesitating to call Wallenstein to command, 
the emperor besought him to negotiate with the Saxon gen- 
eral, very shortly after the battle of Leipsic. Arriheim had 
been one of his favorite officers, and Wallenstein readily un- 
dertook the task. A personal interview took place between 
himself and the Saxon commander at the Castle of Kaunitz. 
It lasted only for a few hours ; but it would seem, from one 
of Wallenstein's letters, the concessions he was authorized to 
make, on the part of the emperor, were not such as his own 
judgment showed him were necessary, nor such as a victori- 
ous enemy was likely to accept. The negotiations were pro- 
tracted for some time without effect ; and the victorious ca- 
reer of Gustavus every day rendered the difficulty of treating 
more great. The defeat and death of Tilly, on the Lech, and 
the complete prostration of Bavaria before the King of Swe- 
den, at length overpowered the opposition of Wallenstein's 
enemies at the court of Vienna, and he was applied to as a 
last resource. 

It was a bitter compliment, and Wallenstein refused to 
have any thing to do with the military affairs of the empire. 
He was ill, he said, suffering severely, and could not under- 
take such a responsible task. 

Persons have supposed that his reluctance was affected ; 
but well might he pause and hesitate well might he even 
refuse. He knew the man he had to deal with ; he knew, 
by this time, the sovereign whom he was called to serve ; he 
knew that courtiers and ministers would be ready at any mo- 
ment to betray him, and the emperor to abandon him when 
no longer wanted. 

Moreover, what was he called upon to undertake ? To re- 
pel from the Austrian dominions the greatest general in Eu- 
rope, at the head of a victorious army, without having a single 
regiment to bring into the field against him. The imperial 
troops were nowhere. Most of the districts from which they 
might have been raised were in possession of the enemy ; and 
even Hungary could hardly maintain itself against the Turks 
arid Trarisylvanians. Wallenstein was called upon once more 
to create an arrny as well as to command it ; but the position 
4 oi' affairs was very different now from that which it had been 
on a former occasion ; for then Tilly was in the field at the 



WALLENSTEIN. 323 

head of large forces, ready to co-operate and to assist : now 
Tilly was dead, and his forces scattered over the country. 

At length came a letter, in the emperor's own hand, pray- 
ing, in abject terms, for assistance. He besought his faithful 
servant riot to abandon him in the hour of adversity. To 
this entreaty Wallenstein yielded ; but, even now, a weak 
prince and subtile enemies sought to limit his power, and put 
a check upon his actions. They proposed that the archduke, 
king of Hungary, should share in the command ; and the very 
suggestion excited a burst of indignation, which mingled a 
blasphemous boast with a firm refusal. 

The proposal was not pressed ; and, in a conference with 
the Duke of Eggenberg, at Zriaim, Wallenstein agreed to as- 
sume the command of the imperial troops for three months, 
boldly promising within that time to have from forty to fifty 
thousand men in the field. He would riot consent to accept 
the command for any longer period ; nor would he receive a 
salary ; but a fourth duchy was conferred upon him ; and 
Walienstein once more raised his standard with the same 
magical effect as before. Armed men seemed to start from 
the earth to do him service ; officers petitioned for commis- 
sions to raise troops ; some brought in a company, some a reg- 
iment, some a troop of horse. Arms and stores were provid- 
ed ; his own resources were taxed to the very uttermost. The 
emperor did nothing ; Wallenstein did every thing ; and in 
little more than ten weeks forty thousand experienced soldiers 
were ready to take the field in opposition to the Swede and 
the Saxon. But Wallenstein refused to command them. 
The three months for which he had stipulated came to an 
end. The promised service was amply performed ; and he 
expressed his determination to retire again into private life. 

Illness and poverty were the reasons assigned. We know 
that he was ill, and may well judge that he was^poor ; for 
the resources of all his duchies could hardly supply the means 
of raising and equipping such a force. But the emperor feared 
that the army, in which his safety lay, would melt away as 
rapidly as it had arisen, if Wallenstein were suffered to leave 
it ; and messenger after messenger, of every rank and charac- 
ter, were sent by the sovereign to the subject, begging him 
to retain his command. 

He was entreated to name his own terms, and he did so. 
Perhaps he hoped, by obtaining inordinate power, to guard 
himself against the eminent peril in which he was likely to 
be placed. He demanded the supreme command, and entire 



324 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

disposal of all the Austrian and Spanish troops in Germany. 
Every military office, rewards, punishments, pardons, were all 
to be decided directly or indirectly by him. Neither the em- 
peror nor his son were to exercise any military authority, nor 
even to appear with the army. A principality was to be his 
immediate reward ; and, in the expectation of conquest, he 
demanded a conquered province. Various other stipulations 
were added, the vainest, but the most important of which 
was, that he was not to be removed from command without 
due notice. 

These conditions have been represented as proofs of his am- 
bition and his inordinate love of power. But Wallenstein 
undertook to fight Gustavus Adolphus, and no authority could 
be too great to enable him to do so successfully. However 
that might be, the emperor subscribed to the conditions with- 
out hesitation, and from that moment the war assumed a to- 
tally different character. 

The very intelligence that Wallenstein was in the field had 
an instant effect upon every party concenied. Protestant 
Germany heard the news with fear and anxiety ; the Cath- 
olic League revived ; new hope sprang up with the emperor 
and his allies ; and Gustavus himself at once laid aside the 
daring impetuosity which had characterized his later move- 
ments, and prepared to meet the Duke of Friedland with that 
careful prudence which the presence of such an enemy re- 
quired. 

Wallenstein determined to try the first energies of his new 
army against a less formidable foe than Gustavus, and com- 
bining policy with his military operations, to detach, if possi- 
ble, the Saxons from their alliance with the Swede, both by 
negotiations and by arms. He knew that, if this could be 
accomplished, the King of Sweden must necessarily abandon 
the central parts of Germany, to fall back upon his resources 
in the north ; and during the whole time occupied by the 
collection of his forces, the negotiations with Arnheim had 
been carried on under his direction. The conduct of the lat- 
ter general is not explained. Although the Elector of Sax- 
ony steadily refused, at this period, to enter into a separate 
peace without the concurrence of Gustavus, and although the 
King of Sweden eagerly and impatiently urged the command- 
er of the Saxons to vigilance and activity, Arnheim suffered 
Wallenstein to levy a powerful army under his very eyes, 
and was unprepared to offer effectual resistance when the im- 
perial forces were ready ibr the field. Against him the first 



WALLENSTEIN. 325 

operations of the Duke of Friedland were directed. March- 
ing with the utmost rapidity upon Prague, Wallen stein ap- 
peared before that city on the 4th of May, and Arnheim re- 
treated with unseemly haste. The garrison was small and 
inefficient ; the Capuchin friars within the walls aided more 
than the guns of Wallenstein to effect a breach ; the imperial 
troops mounted to the assault, and the city was carried by 
storm. The Saxon troops in the castle capitulated imme- 
diately ; and Wallenstein led his victorious troops on through 
Bohemia, reducing without difficulty every place which op- 
posed him. 

Saxony was now open to his arms ; and, in pursuit of his 
political views, Wallenstein was eager to carry the war in 
that direction, certain of soon withdrawing the King of Swe- 
den from the scene of his late triumphs without striking a 
blow directly at himself. But the strongly expressed wishes 
of the emperor, and the entreaties of the Elector of Bavaria, 
induced him to abandon his well-conceived plan, and to turn 
his arms against Gustavus himself. He required, however, 
that the Elector of Bavaria should join him with the remnant 
of his forces, and place himself under his command ; and 
when Maximilian submitted to this humiliation, and effected 
his junction with the imperial general at Egra, Wallenstein 
perhaps marked his triumph over his bitterest foe and calum- 
niator with somewhat too ostentatious satisfaction. They 
promised in writing, indeed, to lay aside all enmity, and act 
for the future with cordiality and good faith ; but the only 
bond between them was necessity ; and Wallenstein's genius 
soon delivered Maximilian from that tie. 

Numbers were now on the side of the house of Austria. 
Wallenstein was at the head of sixty thousand men, and Gus- 
tavus knew that skill was not wanting. He at once felt that, 
opposed to such a general and such an army, it was impossi- 
ble to maintain himself in Bavaria, or to make any forward 
movement with success ; and as soon as he found that Wal- 
lenstein was advancing toward the Upper Palatinate, he de- 
termined to take up such a position as would at once cover 
the newly-emancipated principalities on the Rhine, and keep 
open his communications with the north. Nuremberg was- 
fixed upon for this object, and thither Gustavus retreated, and 
intrenched himself in the most formidable manner round the 
town. 

That city had opened its gates to the Swedes with joy, at 
the time of the monarch's first successes. It had wavered, 



S26 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

however, when Wallenstein had so suddenly raised up the 
imperial power, and had sent deputies to make submission 
and bespeak clemency. But now the presence of Gustavus 
seemed to restore confidence ; the magistrates exerted them- 
selves energetically to assist him in his operations, and laid 
up all sorts of stores to provide against the day of danger. 
The whole town was surrounded with the most extensive 
earth-works that had ever been thrown up in a modern war- 
fare ; bridges were cast across the river ; and three hundred 
pieces of artillery defended the town and the Swedish camp 
without the walls. All this was effected with extraordinary 
rapidity ; and when Wallenstein arrived within sight of Nu- 
remberg the Swedish position was impregnable. 

Wallenstein's military genius now showed itself in a light 
in which it had never before been displayed. He was pressed 
to attack the enemy ; but he steadily refused, saying that bat- 
tles enough had been fought already, and he must now try 
another method. He accordingly took up a position about 
five miles from Nuremberg, upon a range of wooded hills, with 
a small stream in front of his camp. Intrenchments were 
thrown up ; redoubts were erected ; and every approach was 
furnished with strong defenses. The right was protected by 
marshy ground, the front by the steep banks of the Ilednitz ; 
and two conspicuous hills were inclosed within his lines, and 
carefully fortified. In this position to the southwest of Nu- 
remberg, he commanded many of the roads by which the city 
received supplies ; and his light troops were easily spread over 
the country, incessantly harassing the foraging parties of 
Gustavus, and cutting off convoys of provisions from his camp. 
To starve his enemy out of his lines was Wallenstein's de- 
termination ; and he adhered to it in spite of all the efforts 
of Gustavus, and of urgent remonstrances from the rash and 
impetuous officers of the imperial court. Numerous skirm- 
ishes took place, in some of which Gustavus commanded in 
person ; and the loss of a great magazine at Friendstadt at 
one time reduced the army of Wallenstein itself to a very great 
strait for want of provisions. 

Still the Duke of Friedland adhered to his plan ; and it be- 
came apparent to Gustavus that he must either soon force 
Wallenstein to abandon his position, or decamp himself from 
Nuremberg. His forces had been greatly increased by the 
arrival of his favorite minister, Oxensticrn, with a body of 
thirty-six thousand men, which had been scattered over the 
various conquests of Gustavus, and collected by the chancellor 



W A L L E N S T E I N. 327 

to support his great master. It is necessary, however, to re- 
mark, that the apparent fault of bringing so many fresh 
mouths into a camp where famine was already felt, was less 
so in reality than appearance. The order for these troops to 
join him had been, given by Gustavus before he was aware 
of, or could divine, Wallenstein's plan ; and the eager impet- 
uosity which that, great general had shown in Jiis previous 
campaigns rendered it highly probable that he would attempt 
some operation against which the utmost strength of the 
Swedish army would be required. At length, after great suf- 
fering, Gustavus, with his army thus re-enforced, determined 
to attack Wallenstein in his lines, and, erecting batteries as 
near as possible, he kept up a furious cannonade upon the im- 
perial camp during one whole day. This produced no effect 
whatever, either upon Wallenstein's lines or his determina- 
tion ; and on the following day, the 23d of August, Gustavus 
crossed the Redriitz with his whole army, and appeared on 
the left flank of the imperial position. A general attack took 
place on the 24th ; but Wallenstein's camp.had been rendered 
impregnable, and the columns of the Swedes were repulsed at 
all points. Wallenstein was every where in the hottest of 
the fire, exposing his person to the greatest dangers, and prov- 
ing to his soldiery that his determination not to quit his lines 
proceeded from no want of personal courage. After the re- 
treat of the Swedes, Wallenstein distributed large sums of 
money among the wounded officers and soldiers, which must 
have been drawn from his own private resources. Many oth- 
er acts of liberality, especially toward prisoners taken from 
the enemy, are mentioned at this time ; arid some negotia- 
tions for peace succeeded, but were without effect. 

For eleven weeks the two greatest and most powerful ar- 
mies which had appeared in modern Europe remained, like 
dark thunder-clouds, in presence of each other ; but, at length, 
having lost twelve thousand men by disease, famine, and the 
sword, and exhausted the whole supplies of Nuremberg and 
the neighboring country, Gustavus Adolphus broke up his 
camp, threw five thousand men into Nuremberg for its de- 
fense, and, with drums beating and colors flying, marched 
past the face of Wallenstein's position. 

Still that great general would not be tempted to attack the 
Swedish army in its retreat. His cavalry he had been obliged 
to place in distant quarters, for want of forage near at hand ; 
and, even had his whole force been present on the field, Gus- 
tavus's army, re-enforced by Oxenstiern, was hardly inferior in 



328 DARKjSCENES OF HISTORY. 

point of numbers, and much superior in point of discipline to 
that of the imperialists. Papperiheim also, on whom Wal- 
lenstein greatly relied, was at a distance ; and with the best 
sort of courage, moral courage, the Duke of Friedland bore all 
taunts and reproaches, rather than put to the hazard of a sin- 
gle battle, in unfavorable circumstances, the fate of the Ger- 
man empire. Had Gustavus been defeated, he had immense 
resources to fall back upon. Had Wallenstein been defeated, 
the last stake of the emperor was played and lost. 

If any thing was wanting to the justification of Wallen- 
stein, the result of the battle of Lutzen afforded the strongest 
proof of the superiority of the Swedish troops of Gustavus. 

The King of Sweden took his way at once from Nurem- 
burg to Neustadt ; and thence, having dispatched Duke Ber- 
nard, of Weimar, to Wurzburg, he himself pushed on, with 
the main body of his forces, into Bavaria. The imperial 
army also separated : the Elector of Bavaria hastened to de- 
fend his dominions ; and Wallenstein, sternly refusing to aban- 
don his own judicious plans for the purpose of protecting the 
electorate, pushed forward, with the forces which he himself 
had raised, into the heart of Saxony, resolved to prevent the 
junction of the Saxons and the Swedes. To effect this ob- 
ject, he peremptorily recalled Pappenheim from the Lower 
Rhine, and commanded General Altringer also to lead all the 
Austrian forces from Bavaria into Saxony, leaving Maximilian 
to his own resources. 

Before the arrival of either, Wallenstein had taken Leipsic, 
and, establishing his head-quarters in that city, forbade all 
plundering in the Saxon territories,* on pain of death. It 
was evidently the desire of Wallenstein, partly by force, part- 
ly by gentleness, to detach the weak and vicious John George, 
elector of Saxony, from his alliance with Sweden ; and the at- 
tainment of this object seemed so probable, after the capture 
of Leipsic, that Gustavus was forced to abandon the brilliant 
career just opening before him in Bavaria and Austria, and 
hasten to encourage and support the Elector of Saxony. This 
sudden determination took Wallenstein by surprise ; and he 
was on his march to Torgau, in the hope of striking a decisive 
blow at the Saxon army, when he received intelligence that 
Gustavus was advancing rapidly against him. 

The King of Sweden had arrived at Naumburg, a very 
short distance from Leipsic, ere Wallenstein heard of his ap- 

* Schiller states the exact reverse ; but Wallenstein's dispatches are 
extant ; and even the Croats are threatened with death if they plunder. 



WALLENSTEIN. 329 

proach ; but his resolution was instantly taken. To prevent 
the junction of the Saxons and the Swedes was the great and 
final ohject ; but to crush the army of Gustavus himself, in 
the attempt to effect that junction, was well worth any risk. 
The Swedish forces at Naumburg were under twenty-five 
thousand men. The imperial army at Wallenstein's disposal 
amounted to forty thousand ; and now Wallenstein resolved 
to fight a general battle, which he had so carefully avoided at 
Nuremberg. Instantly abandoning his march to Torgau, he 
advanced with extraordinary rapidity to Weissenfels ; but the 
Swede had been as prompt in his precautions as Wallenstein 
in his march. He was as strongly intrenched as at Werben ; 
and to attack him in his position was impossible. 

The Duke of Friedland now committed the greatest error 
of his military career. On what was done at this moment, 
the fate of the war depended. Wallenstein trusted the de- 
cision to a council of war ; and, though that decision was de- 
void of even common sense, he confirmed it. He was in 
presence of the most active and enterprising general of the 
age, one whose successes had been obtained, in a great meas- 
ure, by watching the opportunities afforded by his enemies and 
never affording any himself. Nevertheless, the council, in 
their wisdom, decided that it was the King of Sweden's in- 
tention to remain intrenched at Naumburg, and, therefore, 
that it would be better for the imperial army to take up win- 
ter-quarters, in such a manner as to render the sudden re- 
union of the forces practicable, while Pappenheirn, at the head 
of two thousand horse, should return to the banks of the 
Rhine. 

To this arrangement Wallenstein consented, placed his 
troops in cantonments, and not only sent Pappenheirn toward 
the Rhine, but ordered him to make an attack upon Halle, in 
which there was a Swedish garrison, as he went, giving him 
six regiments of cavalry and six of infantry for that purpose. 
Wallenstein himself fixed his head-quarters at Lutzen, with 
a mere handful of troops. 

Nothing could be further from the thoughts of the King of 
Sweden than the intentions which the imperial officers at- 
tributed to him ; and while the arrangements which they 
recommended were in course of execution, he suddenly broke 
up his camp at Naumburg, and marched toward Pegau, evi- 
dently with the intention of slipping past the left of the im- 
perialists, and effecting his junction with the Saxons at Dres- 
den. He commenced his march before daybreak on the 5th 



330 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

of November ; but ere he had advanced many miles, some 
prisoners and some intercepted letters were brought in, which 
showed him the terrible error that Waileiistein had com- 
mitted. The moment for striking a decisive blow seemed to 
have arrived, and not an instant was lost ere Gustavus hast- 
ened to take advantage of it. He found that Pappenheim 
was already on his march toward the Rhine, with a large di- 
vision of the imperial forces ; and he resolved at once to rush 
upon Wallenstein, and destroyjiim before he could gather his 
troops together. 

If the Duke of Friedland had committed a great error, of 
which there can be no doubt, brilliant and noble were his ef- 
forts to repair it. He had the choice of saving himself arid 
the few regiments with him, by falling back upon Leipsic, and 
leaving Pappenheim and the other detached corps to their 
fate, or of maintaining his ground against a superior erierny, 
and feeding the battle, if I may so speak, with the different 
corps as they could be brought up to the field. He determ- 
ined upon the latter course. Signal guns were fired the in- 
stant he heard of the movements of Gustavus ; and a few 
brief words, written in the utmost haste, were dispatched after 
Pappenheim, to bring him back to Lutzen, where the duke 
himself remained at the head of only twelve thousand men. 
Some circumstances favored his bold determination. The 
weather had been rainy ; the roads were in bad condition ; 
the day was foggy ; a small stream called the lleipach was 
gallantly defended by Colonel Isolan, at the head of a small 
force ; and night fell before Gustavus could arrive in face of 
Wallenstein's position. Never did skill, sagacity, and activ- 
ity effect more to repair an error than on the present occa- 
sion. 

As the troops came in during the night, they were placed 
in order of battle on the famous field of Lutzen : a dead flat, in- 
tersected by ditches. Some of these ditches, especially those 
which bordered the road from Weissenfels to Leipsic, were 
deepened during the night, and lined with musketeers, who 
fired over the earth thrown out as over a parapet. Another 
line of musketeers supported the first ; and behind the road, 
with the village of Lutzen on the right, extended Wallenstein's 
whole force. The walls of the gardens round Lutzen were 
loopholed and lined with musketeers ; a light field work was 
thrown up to protect the left, which was otherwise much ex- 
posed ; a battery of seven guns was placed in front of the 
center of the line, and another battery of seventeen guns uu- 



WALLENSTEIN. 331 

der the Lutzen wind -mill, on the right. The infantry occu- 
pied the center of the field, and the cavalry was posted on 
the flanks. On the extreme left, a place was reserved for 
Pappenheim, of whose rapid return Wallenstein felt well as- 
sured. 

Such were the arrangements for the battle, drawn up by 
the Duke of Friedland's own hand. It is generally supposed 
that the imperialists, before the dawn of the following day, 
had about twenty-six thousand men in the field, including the 
cavalry of Pappenheim, which he brought from Halle with 
the most zealous haste. The Swedes were inferior in num- 
ber, but much superior in artillery and in discipline. Their 
line would appear to have been more extended than that of 
Wallenstein, though by no means weak. Before they halted 
for the night, they were close upon Lutzen, while their right 
rested on a shallow canal, which did not in any way impede 
their operations. 

Early on the morning of the 6th of November, Wallenstein 
himself, who was suffering severely from gout, came to the 
field in a carriage, and was carried along the line in a chair. 
His horses, however, were ready ; and he mounted when the 
action be^an. He wore no defensive armor, but was dressed 
in the ordinary buff coat of a superior officer, richly laced with 
gold. The King of Sweden was dressed much in the same 
manner, but with less ornament, and rode a beautiful white 
horse, which afforded a conspicuous mark to the enemy's 
musketeers. 

The day broke gloomily ; and a thick fog prevented the two 
armies, though so near, from perceiving the movements of each 
other, so that the Swedes, advancing under cover of the mist, 
were within a thousand yards of the Austrians when the vapor 
began to disperse. They halted at that distance, and the 
king commanded prayers to be read in front of every regiment. 

The battle did not begin till between eleven and twelve 
o'clock, when the sun broke out and the mist gradually dis- 
appeared. The left of the Swedish army was under the com- 
mand of a German prince of no light fame, whose genius and 
virtues Gustavus had at once penetrated. This was Duke Ber- 
nard of Weimar, who afterward became so greatly renowned. 
The right was commanded by Gustavus himself, whose only 
fault as a general seems to have been that he would act as a 
soldier also. The second line of the Swedish troops was com- 
manded by Kniphausen. A reserve of Scottish infantry, with 
one regiment of cavalry, was placed under the command of a 



332 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

celebrated Scotch officer named Henderson, and decided the 
fate of the battle. 

On the side of the imperialists, Goetz commanded the left 
wing, Offizzius the center, and Hoik the right. Wallenstein 
commanded the whole, and assumed no particular post, but 
appeared wherever his presence was needed. 

About half past eleven, the firing of the village of Lutzen 
marked the commencement of the battle ; and the Swedes 
advanced with a loud shout. Gustavus himself led them on 
at the head of a regiment of cavalry. They were received 
with a terrible fire from the two imperial batteries, and from 
the trenches lined with musketeers ; but they wavered not for 
an instant. Every soldier, in both hosts, seemed to feel that 
this was no ordinary combat, that it was the life struggle of 
the two greatest generals of the day, the greatest blow that 
had yet been struck for the predominance of one of two re- 
ligions. The Swedish cavalry of the right, animated by the 
personal presence of the king at their head, dashed over the 
trenches, passed the road, fell like a thunderbolt upon the im- 
perial left, and drove it back into the plain. The Swedish 
center, where were the infantry, pushed on with the pike, 
slaughtered the musketeers in their trenches, carried the seven 
gun battery in the center of the imperial line, and charged 
and routed the first line of Wallenstein's infantry. But the 
left of the Swedes, under Bernard of Weimar, was brought 
to a check at Lutzen. A tremendous fire from the wind-mill 
battery tore through the regiments of Bernard of Weimar ; 
and along every loop-holed garden wall ran the flash of the 
musketry, carrying death into the Swedish ranks. 

Secure in that part of the field, Wallenstein marked the 
confusion of his left and center, and galloped at full speed to 
recover the ground lost. His presence acted like magic ; the 
fugitives rallied, fresh regiments advanced, and charging fierce- 
ly the victorious Swedish center, drove it back over the road, 
recaptured the battery, and regained the ground. Every 
where was Wallenstein in the thick of the fight. The spur 
was torn from his heel by a cannon ball ; his buff coat was 
pierced in several places by musket bullets ; and every one of 
the officers round him was killed or wounded. 

In the mean time, Gustavus, who had left his right and 
center victorious, had rallied the troops upon the left, and led 
them on to the attack of Lutzen. At this moment he re- 
ceived a bullet in his left arm, after having too soon thanked 
God for victory. The cry ran through the Swedish troops 



WALLENSTEIN. 333 

that the king was wounded ; but Gustavus, although the 
bone was fractured and the pain great, shouted aloud, "It is 
nothing ! Follow me." 

A moment after, feeling that he was growing faint, he turn- 
ed to the Duke of Saxe Lauenburg, who was riding with him, 
and begged him, in French, to lead him as secretly as possi- 
ble out of the fight. By this time, however, the advance of 
Wallenstein's fresh troops, and the recovery of the ground in 
the center, had altered entirely the aspect of the battle. In 
passing round between the two armies, in order to find a way 
to the rear, another bullet struck Gustavus in the back, and, 
exclaiming to his companion, " I have enough, brother. Seek 
to save your own life !" he fell headlong from his horse. 

The enemy were still advancing, and victory seemed torn 
from the hand of the Swedes. Every body fled from the body 
of the fallen king, except one noble page, the son of the Frei- 
herr von Lubeling, who leaped from his horse, it is said, and 
endeavored to remount the king. The effort was in vain, for 
Gustavus could only feebly raise his hands. The imperial 
troops swept on, and both Gustavus and the page remained 
amid the slain. 

Many particulars are given of what followed the king's fall. 
He is said to have required several sword and pistol wounds 
to dispatch him, and to have exclaimed, in dying, " I was 
King of Sweden !" but no reliance is to be placed on such 
tales ; and all that we really know is, that he fell as the ral- 
lied imperialists were advancing,^ and that the boy Lubeling 
remained with him to the last, and perished in consequence 
of his fidelity. 

The white horse of Gustavus, flying bloody and masterless 
along the ranks, announced to his faithful followers the fate 
of the royal rider. The terrible news reached the ears of 
Bernard of Weimar, and, hastening to Kniphausen, he held 
with him a short consultation as to what was to be done. It 
was proposed to retreat, as the Swedish army was still in good 
order ; but the gallant duke rejected the idea with scorn, and, 
announcing his resolution of rescuing Gustavus from the hands 
of the enemy if still alive, or avenging him if dead, he or- 
dered the whole army instantly to advance to the charge. 

* By some author it is stated that Gustavus, after having restored the 
battle on his left, had stopped, if not drfven back, the imperialists in 
the center. But this is impossible and contradictory ; for the very sauie 
authors relate the immediate passage of the Austrian troops over his 
body. 



334 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY 

Although Schiller denies the fact, there was assuredly some 
hesitation. The great body of the troops were undoubtedly 
moved with rage rather than discouraged by Gustavus's fall ; 
but some regiments, it is clear, refused to obey ; and Bernard 
of Weimer cut down the colonel of the Steinbock cavalry 
with his own hand. This summary punishment restored or- 
der and obedience, and the whole Swedish line charged with 
renewed fury. The battery of seventeen guns under the wind- 
mill was now taken and turned against the Austriaris ; the 
ground in the center was recovered, the trenches repassed un- 
der a murderous fire, the seven gun battery a second time cap- 
tured, and the first line of the Austrian infantry driven back. 
At the same time some of the imperial powder-wagons blew 
up with a tremendous explosion, and scattered confusion and 
disarray in the rear. In vain were all the exertions of Wal- 
lenstein ; in vain he exposed himself in every part of the field ; 
in vain he rallied the men, and brought them back to the 
charge ; a second time the battle seemed lost, and the Swedes 
victorious. Then, however, a new actor appeared upon the 
field, and all was changed. 

Wallenstein's brief letter of recall had reached Pappenheim 
while his troops were sacking the town of Halle. He had 
six regiments of infantry with him, computed at upward of 
ten thousand men, and eight regiments of cavalry. Could he 
have brought back the whole of this force to the field of Lut- 
zen in time for the battle, the Swedish army must have been 
crushed, and the war perhaps terminated at a blow. But he 
saw, from the terms of Friedland's dispatch, that not an in- 
stant was to be lost. It was in vain to hope that the infant- 
ry, scattered through the town, could be collected and march- 
ed to Lutzen soon enough to be of service ; but the cavalry 
were gathered together instantly ; and, at their head, Pappen- 
heim galloped off to the last of his fields. He found, it would 
appear, the left of Wallenstein's forces in full flight ;* but his 
presence instantly served to rally the cavalry of that wing. 

* I have seen it somewhere asserted that Pappeuheirn arrived before 
the commencement of the battle, and had even time to give his troops 
some repose ; but every account of the strife at Lutzen shows that such 
could not possibly be the case. Pappenheim was not an officer to re- 
main inactive in or near the field; and yet no one makes mention of 
his taking any part in the battle till after the imperial left was in full 
flight. The silence of all parties shows distinctly that he did not arrive 
till toward the close of the action, and that Walleusteiu's forces at the 
beginning of the battle were, in reality, under twenty thousand men, 
and inferior to the Swedes in number as well as in poiut of artillery. 



W A L L E N S T E I N. 3 35 

His cuirassiers and dragoons, though fatigued with a long and 
rapid march, were animated with the same fierce and fiery 
spirit as their leader ; and coming like a thunderbolt upon 
the Swedish right, he drove it back over the field of Lutzen. 
Wallenstein instantly perceived the new chance of success af- 
forded him ; and once more rallying the infantry of the cen- 
ter, he brought it successfully to the charge. 

The Swedish ranks, though shaken even by the efforts they 
had made, still fought gallantly ; but they were driven back 
at the point of the pike ; the trenches were regained, and the 
battery retaken. Cool, calm, full of presence of rnind, Wal- 
lenstein is here represented, even by those who least admired 
him, as showing all the qualities both of a general and a hero. 
But the greatest loss that could befall the imperial general 
took place in the midst of this fierce strife, when victory seern- 
ed turning to his side. Carried on by his fiery ardor, Pappen- 
heim clove his way, at the head of his cuirassiers, into the 
very heart of the Swedish right. At the same moment he 
received two musket-balls in the chest, and, falling from his 
horse, was carried by his attendants out of the fight. His 
troops were discouraged by the loss of their fiery leader ; 
horses and men w r ere equally fatigued with the unparalleled 
exertions they had made, and could not pursue, or even re- 
tain, the advantage they had gained. Goetz, Terzky, Collo- 
redo, and Piccolomini, as well as Wallenstein, did all in their 
power to maintain the ground ; but the imperial troops were 
disheartened: many had fled from the field; and it wanted 
but one great effort to break the shaken forces that remained. 
That effort was made by Bernard of Weimar at the end of 
the day. Bringing forward Henderson's reserve, he formed 
the whole Swedish forces into one line ; their peculiar disci- 
pline and tactics afforded great facilities for rapid changes of 
order ; and with an army in good array, fatigued, but not 
disheartened, he once more advanced against the shattered 
imperial line, crossed the road, retook the trenches, again re- 
captured the guns, and drove back the infantry of the 
center. 

The sun was setting ; darkness was spreading rapidly 
around, and Wallenstein was still upon the field ; but the im- 
perial forces were broken ; many regiments were in full flight ; 
the cannon were in the hands of the enemy. The Swedes 
had certainly won the day ; but neither party held the field 
of battle. Walieristein led his broken and disheartened forces 
to Leipsic under cover of the darkness ; and the Swedes, by 



336 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

no means certain of their victory, when night fell retired to 
Weissenfels. 

Strange to say, both parties left their artillery on the field ; 
and had Wallenstein been aware of what was likely to take 
place, he might not only have recovered his own guns, but 
taken those of the Swedes, and turned a defeat into a triumph, 
for an hour after nightfall six regiments of Pappenheim's in- 
fantry arrived at Lutzen from Halle, and were in complete 
command of the plain. The imperial general knew nothing 
of their coming, however ; but, learning that their command- 
er was in Leipsic, they made the best of their way thither, 
and soon fell into that complete state of disorganization which 
by this time affected the whole of the Austrian army. Pap- 
penheim, carried to Leipsic, died there on the following day ; 
and Wallenstein, able to bring only a few thousand men to- 
gether, with the Swedes on the one side, and the Saxons on 
the other, retreated to Bohemia, in order to recruit his forces 
and prepare for a new struggle. 

Such was the battle of Lutzen, the fiercest and best-con- 
tested action of the war. Although the Swedes had undoubt- 
edly won the day, the death of their great leader was looked 
upon by the court of Vienna as more than a victory ; the work 
of Wallenstein seemed accomplished to the imagination of 
the imperial courtiers and ministers ; jealousy, suspicion, and 
hatred raised their venomous heads against the Duke of Fried- 
land ; and the death of his great rival was the precursor of 
Wallenstein's fall.* 

* Gustavus Adolphus, we are assured by many writers, was mur- 
dered at the instigation of the Jesuits and the court of Vienna. It is 
certain that a rumor to that effect was current at the period of his death 
both among the Germans and the Swedes. The Duke of Saxe Lauen- 
burg is generally fixed upon as the assassin ; and some facts have been 
brought forward to show that such was the case. The story is still 
very generally believed in Germany, but receives no credit, in general, 
from the historians of other nations. One of Gustavus's guards wrote 
an account of the murder, which he declares he saw committed, while 
he himself lay at the distance of fifty yards, having lost his leg a short 
time before. Part of the man's story, however, is so evidently false, 
that the rest of it can not receive credit. Two persons also confessed 
the crime, from what motive it is impossible to say ; for it is very sat- 
isfactorily proved that they were not with Gustavus when he fell. If 
they did it, however, the Duke of Saxe Lauenburg did not. Duke 
Bernard of Weimar was suspected without the slightest cause, and 
the only real grounds for attributing the death of the great King of Swe- 
den to the Duke of Saxe Lauenburg is to be found in the unprincipled 
character of the man, and the fact that ho escaped perfectly unhurt 
from the battle of Lutzen. If, however, the statement said to have 



W A L L E N S T E 1 N. 337 



< II AFTER VII. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

THE winter of 1632-33 passed in preparations for a new 
campaign, in rewarding the deserving and in punishing the 
culpable. The preparations were active and energetic ; the 
rewards were liberal, if not extravagant ; the punishments 
were cruelly severe. Wallenstein never claimed the victory 
of Lutzen ; but he suffered, without contradiction, his quarter- 
master Diodati to do so, in a report to the emperor, written 
in Vienna, at a distance from Wallenstein ; and a Te Deum 
was sung in all the Roman Catholic churches. It was dif- 
ficult, indeed, to account for the loss of the artillery, and the 
retreat of a victorious army ; but the severities exercised by 
Wallenstein showed clearly enough that he felt himself de- 
feated. Twelve officers were beheaded in Prague ; seven 
were publicly disgraced and dismissed the service ; arid forty, 
who did not appear for trial, were declared infamous, and 
their names nailed to the gibbet. In the distribution of re- 
wards, one famous name was wanting. Piccolomini received 
nothing. It is probable that Wallenstein had not forgotten 
his former offenses ; and it is not very apparent that this offi- 
cer had done any thing to wipe them away from remembrance. 

In the month of May, 1633, the Duke of Friedland was 
once more ready for the field, and again at the head of forty 
thousand men well disciplined, armed, and provided ; but the 
campaign which followed is one of the most obscure and mys- 
terious in history. It affords the only reasons that exist for 
supposing there might be some truth in the charges afterward 

been drawn up from the lips of the noble boy Labeling is authentic 
of which I entertain many doubts the king was killed in fair and hon- 
orable warfare. The boy is said to have survived the battle several 
days, to have been perfectly sensible to the last, and to have made the 
statement for the information of his father. If so, it is hardly possible 
lie could have been cut down, trampled under foot by the imperial 
troops, and then stripped by the Croats, who seldom left any life in the 
bodies they so treated, tt is clear, however, that neither Oxenstiern 
nor Bernard of Weimar gave the slightest credit to the stoiy of the 
king's assassination. 

F 



338 DARK SCENES OF HISTORif. 

brought against the Duke of Friedland . To form any thing 
like a rational judgment of his conduct, we must look for a 
moment at the state of the contending parties. 

The Saxons had overrun a great part of Silesia, and were 
still in close alliance with the Swedes. Close alliances, how- 
ever, do not forbid jeaiousy and hatred ; and the Elector of 
Saxony had never either really loved or trusted Gustavus. 
After that monarch's death, the same feelings existed toward 
those who succeeded him, only increased in virulence. On 
the other hand, Duke Bernard of Weimar, one of the most 
extraordinary men of the day, had become the leader of the 
forces which won the battle of Lutzen. The famous Chan- 
cellor Oxenstiern was named the Swedish legate, as it was 
termed, in Germany ; and by incredible efforts he restored 
confidence and firmness, not only to the Swedish forces, but 
to the timid and wavering German princes. He could effect 
little, indeed, with Saxony, Brandenburg, and Brunswick, be- 
yond maintaining them in a hostile attitude toward Austria ; 
but meeting the states of Upper Germany at Heilbron, on the 
Neckar, in the month of April, 1633, he induced them, by 
persuasion, menaces, and even bribes, to carry on the war with 
vigor. But the Elector of Saxony refused to take part in the 
League of Heilbron, as it was called ; and that very fact may 
be supposed to have displayed sufficiently an inclination to de- 
tach himself from the common cause of the Protestant princes. 

Such was the state of affairs when Wallenstein once more 
took the field ; and perhaps the considerations which nat- 
urally arose from these relations might have some share in 
the conduct he pursued. Nevertheless, it is clear that, after 
the battle of Lutzen, the Duke of Friedland for some months 
did nothing at all worthy of his reputation, nothing at all in 
accordance with the energetic activity of his mind or the stern 
determination of his character. It is true that he was suffer- 
ing severely from disease, which rendered him irritable, impa- 
tient, and fierce. Perhaps illness might also produce inac- 
tivity; but still, the great change in his whole conduct nat- 
urally produced suspicion. 

Leaving the territories of the Elector of Bavaria to fall 
under the power of the victorious Swedes, and the elector 
himself to seek refuge as a fugitive in the Tyrol leaving the 
whole states of the Rhine at the mercy of the enemy, Wal- 
lenstein marched his army toward Silesia. But there, instead 
of expelling the Saxons under Arnheim, he commenced nego- 
tiations, concluded a short truce, and evidently attempted to 



WALLENSTEIN. 339 

effect a separate peace with Saxony. Reports were busily 
circulated that he was treating for his own individual inter- 
ests, and that the most ambitious schemes against the impe- 
rial power itself actuated him at this moment. There is not 
the slightest proof that such schemes entered into his mind ; 
and, in pursuit of his great object of gaming the Saxons, we 
may well conceive that Wallenstein was contented to sacri- 
fice a portion of his military glory. But we can not so easily 
account for the inactivity and feebleness of his operations 
when the truce came to an end and hostilities were resumed. 
He invested and bombarded the town of Schweidnitz, it is 
true, but he effected nothing against it ; and when Count 
Arnheim advanced to its relief, Wallenstein retreated before 
him, took up a strong position, and contented himself with 
harassing the enemy with light troops. This conduct has 
never been explained. 

Shortly after, the mediation of Denmark was offered to 
bring the war to a conclusion ; and a Congress was appoint- 
ed to meet at Breslau, to consider the terms of a treaty of 
peace. In order to give time for negotiations, a new truce 
was concluded between Austria, Brandenburg, and Saxony. 
It was to last for a month, and hostilities were not to be re- 
sumed for some weeks after it expired. The conduct of all 
parties now seems to have been very strange. Neither the 
Swedes nor the League of Heilbron sent deputies to the Con- 
gress ; and though Wallenstein was left free to act against 
the Swedes, he remained perfectly inactive. In the mean 
time, Arnheim, who had not included the Swedes in his treaty 
with Wallenstein, set out to confer with Oxenstiern, giving 
the Duke of Friedland previous notice of his intention. Wal- 
lenstein, in a letter still extant, endeavored to persuade him 
not to go. Nevertheless, Chemnitz the historian, who wrote, 
it is supposed, under the supervision of Qxenstiern himself, 
declares that a most extraordinary proposition was made by 
Arnheim to the Swedish minister on the part of the Duke of 
Friedland. The Saxon general assured Oxenstiern, we 'are 
informed, that Wallenstein was on bad terms with the court 
of Vienna ; that the emperor had called the Duke of Feria 
from Italy to replace Wallenstein in the command, with the 
intention of removing and disgracing the latter ; that Wallen- 
stein was informed of these facts, and had never forgiven his 
former dismissal. He was now determined, Arnheim said, to 
punish the house of Austria. He had secured the co-opera- 
tion of the generals Gallas and Hoik ; and he now proposed, 



340 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

through Arnheiin, as a mutual security, that six Austrian regi- 
ments should be exchanged for six Swedish ones. As soon as 
this was effected, Arnheim said, Wallenstein would march 
into Bohemia, and, restoring the privileges of the Bohemian 
people, march to Vienna and force the emperor to conclude an 
inglorious peace. 

It is impossible to believe that Wallenstein should ever 
have conceived so wild a scheme ; nor can we at all reconcile 
the fact of such a proposal having been made by Arnheim 
with Wallenstein's letter urging him not to go to Oxenstiern 
at all. Yet the statement of Chemnitz is distinct ; and it is 
probable the mystery will never be splved. Oxenstiern posi- 
tively refused to consent ; and looking upon the very proposal 
as the vail of some deep design, warned Bernard of Weimar 
to be upon his guard against the Duke of Friedland. On his 
return to Silesia, Arnheim had an interview with Wallenstein ; 
and in several of his letters to the Duke of Brandenburg, he 
makes the most extraordinary statements with regard to Wal- 
lenstein's conduct, representing him as varying in his views 
and proposals like a madman, and insinuating that the Duke 
of Friedland had some deep and subtile policy at the bottom 
of this vacillation. The question is, was Arnheim himself true ? 
Was Wallenstein really mad or a traitor ? or was Arnheim 
misrepresenting him, and playing a most infamous part for his 
own purposes ? 

It must be remembered that, while Wallenstein had re- 
mained steadfastly attached to one party, and had served his 
sovereign uninterruptedly for years, making immense sacrifices 
in so doing, Arnheim had betrayed the cause he was sent to 
support in Poland, had abandoned the standard under which 
he served, had fought against the prince under whom he had 
risen to fame, and was pronounced by a very deep-seeing 
minister to be the most perfect Jesuit that ever lived. 

If Arnheim was calumniating the Duke of Friedland and 
playing him false, there were others in Saxony who aided in 
the intrigue. A certain Count Kinsky, a Protestant noble- 
man banished from Bohemia, and nearly allied to Wallen- 
stein by marriage, opened communications with Feuquieres; 
the French embassador to the Protestant states of Germany, 
about the middle of the year 1633. He confirmed Feuquieres 
in the .belief that a rupture between Wallenstein arid the 
court of Vienna was inevitable ; and, after some hesitation, 
Richelieu, anxious to effect the complete ruin of the house of' 
Austria, and relying on the repeated assurances of Kinsky, 






AY A L L E N S T E I N. 341 

authorized Feuquieres to make the most magnificent overtures 
to the Duke of Friedland. A memorial was accordingly drawn 
up and sent to Wallenstein, in which every bad passion of his 
nature is courted revenge, ambition, pride, arid the crown of 
Bohemia, and even higher dignities are held out to him as 
inducements. We find from the letters of Feuquieres, that 
Wallenstein made no answer. The effort was not to be 
abandoned, however. Urgent proposals were made ; more 
splendid offers were added ; the support of two French armies, 
a subsidy of a million of livres, and a guarantee of the crown 
of Hungary were promised, if ^allenstein would openly raise 
the standard of revolt against Austria. 

Wallenstein was still silent. In various letters, Feuquieres 
clearly shows that he thinks the Duke of Friedland is playing 
a deep game, for the purpose of disuniting the Saxons, the 
Swedes, and the French ; and I am strongly inclined to be- 
lieve that this able statesman's view was just. There were 
at this time three distinct armies in Silesia ; the Saxon army 
under Arnheim and the Duke of Lauenburg ; the Branden- 
burg army under General Borgsdorf ; and a Swedish army 
under the Bohemian exile, Count Thurn. United, they would 
have formed a formidable force, especially as all the strong 
places of Silesia were in their hands ; but dissensions had 
speedily taken place between Arnheim and Thurn ; the Bran- 
den burgers made common cause with the Saxons ; and both 
looked upon their deliverers, the Swedes, as intrusive foreigners. 
All that could be done to annoy and weaken the Swedish 
army was early sought for by the Saxon allies of Sweden ; 
and, at the same time, the most amicable feeling existed be- 
tween the officers of Wallenstein and of Arnheim. Instead 
of passing their time in battles and sieges, they spent it in 
visiting each other, and entertaining their friendly enemies at 
dinner. Every now and then, indeed, Wallenstein performed 
some deed of daring or severity, as if to show that it was not 
fear of the Saxons which kept him quiet. The Swedes natu- 
rally looked upon Arnheim as a traitor ; and we are inclined 
to ask whether that general's statements of the views of Wal- 
lestein to Oxenstiern and others, might not be made with a 
view to conceal his own treacherous proceedings, while he was 
carrying on secret negotiations with the Duke of Friedland 
for a peace between Saxony, Brandenburg, and Austria, from 
which Sweden was to be excluded, and perhaps France like- 
wise 1 ? 

It is quite consistent with the known character of Wallen- 



313 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

stein, also, to suppose that, in his lofty reserve, he determined 
to keep the whole transaction secret, even from the court of 
Vienna, till every thing was arranged, and that he let Rumor 
say what she would of his conduct, knowing that his inten- 
tions were honest and upright. It must be acknowledged, 
however, that in transactions so dark and obscure, any solu- 
tion must be purely hypothetical. The only certain facts are, 
that Wallenstein lay inactive during the whole of the early 
part of 1633, or contented himself with taking some insignifi- 
cant places in presence of the Saxon army ; and that he con- 
cluded a truce with Arnheim, arid then another, for the pur- 
pose of giving free scope to the negotiations at Breslau. How 
far those negotiations had proceeded, it may be difficult to 
discover ; but it would certainly seem that the efforts of Wal- 
lenstein laid the foundation for that secession of Saxony from 
the alliance with Sweden which afterward took place. 

It is not improbable, indeed, that such progress had been 
made toward peace as to alarm the mercenaries of the im- 
perial army. A great number of these men, especially the 
Italian portion of them, were without principles, attachments, 
or zeal. They were mere hired sworders, who came for the 
sole purpose of enriching themselves by the plunder of the 
country in which they served, with the intention of carrying 
off their booty to their own land when tired pf the trade of 
war. The very name of peace, then, was hateful to them ; 
and as Wallenstein always professed to seek for peace, and 
evidently sought it, he was by this time in no great favor with 
many imperial officers, who throve alone by the continuance 
of hostilities. 

The negotiations at Breslau created fear and alarm in the 
bosoms of many, and somewhat barbarous means were taken 
to bring them to an end. Prince Ulric of Denmark, who 
was taking an active part in the matter, while riding on some 
party of pleasure, passed and saluted Piccolomini, and a few 
minutes after was shot by one of that officer's carabineers. 
The negotiations were broken off; the King of Denmark was 
loud in his complaints, and Wallenstein was ordered by the 
emperor to investigate the circumstances of the murder. It 
was never proved distinctly that Piccolomini had ordered the 
assassination of the prince ; but strong suspicion attached to 
him which has not been removed. 

The armistice soon came to an end ; and, hopeless of con- 
cluding a peace without some further blow at the allies, Wal- 
lenstein*took the field in earnest. He now put forth all his 



WALLENSTEIN, 343 

istrategetic skill, and showed that rapidity and decision of 
action for which he had been formerly famous. The dissen- 
sions between the Swedish and Saxon armies kept them sep- 
arate, but not at so great a distance that a rapid junction could 
not be effected at any time. The" Swedes under Thurn lay 
in an intrenched camp at Stein au on the Oder, some distance 
below Breslau. Arnheim, with the Saxon forces, was in 
Kauth, a little to the southwest of the latter city. Wallen- 
fitein could not attack Arnheim without danger from the 
Swedes ; nor could he pass the Saxons to attack the Swedes. 
In these circumstances he determined to deceive Arnheim by 
a stratagem, and ordered General Hoik, with his division, to 
move rapidly toward the Elbe in the neighborhood of Meis- 
sen. Some authors, indeed, say that Hoik had entered Misnia 
before the last truce, and made great progress in the con- 
quest of the country ; but it does not seem to me probable 
that Arnheim and the Swedes would have remained quietly 
on the Oder while an imperial army was within a few march- 
es of Dresden, and Wallenstein was ready to fall upon Upper 
Saxony. However that might be, the Duke of Friedland 
now made a feigned movement to follow Hoik, taking care 
that his operations in that direction should be conspicuous 
and noisy. Arnheim, completely deceived, broke up his camp, 
and hurried to the west to defend the Electorate ; and Wal- 
lenstein, concealing his maneuvers by the mountains, turned 
rapidly to the Oder and fell upon the Swedish camp. A large 
body of Austrian cavalry crossed the river and cut off the 
possibility of Thurn's retreat in that direction, while Wallen- 
stein, on the left bank, surrounded the intrenched camp of the 
Swedes. It is said that the defenses of this camp were not 
yet completed, and that Thurn, with a force of only from 
five to eight thousand men, could not have maintained his 
position against more than thirty thousand. Certain it is, 
that Wallenstein instantly summoned him to surrender, and 
gave him but half an hour to decide ; that Thurn at once 
agreed to capitulate, and that Wallenstein permitted him to 
do so. 

The terms were regularly drawn up and signed. All the 
private soldiers became prisoners of war, and the officers 
were permitted to depart. There can be no doubt that Wal- 
lenstein might have enforced more severe conditions, and both 
demanded and obtained the surrender of all the officers like- 
wise. His not having done so was made a principal charge 
against him at an after period ; and that charge was un- 



344 



DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



doubtedly well justified ; but it was the fact of having suf- 
fered Count Thurn himself to escape from the vengeance of 
the court of Vienna that gave point to the offense. WaHen- 
stein has been defended upon the ground that he liberated 
Thurn in the execution of a regular convention ; but Wallen- 
stein could have refused to sign that convention at all, and 
Thurn must have surrendered. 

His conduct has been variously accounted for. Schiller, 
believing that all this time he meditated revolt, supposes that 
he allowed Thurn to escape because their enemies in Vienna 
were the same ; but it is probable, I think, that the Duke of 
Friedland expressed his real sentiments when, in answering a 
reproachful letter from the imperial minister, he said, " What 
could I have done with this madman? Would to Heaven 
that the enemy had more such generals as this. At the 
head of a Swedish army he would do much more for us than 
in prison." 

The captured soldiers were forced to incorporate them- 
selves with the Austrian army, as was very common in that 
day ; and, hurrying from conquest to conquest, Wallenstein 
took Leignitz and Gross-Glogau, and made himself master 
of the whole course of the Oder as far as Frankfort, which 
also surrendered to his arms. In the mean time, one of his 
officers, Colonel Schafgotch, made great progress in reducing 
Silesia ; and while Illo and Goetz pushed on to Pomerania, 
and captured Landsberg, the key of that country, Wallenstein 
himself, with the main body of his army, marched up the 
Neissa, took Gorlitz by storm, and forced Bautzen to sur- 
render. 

Terror now spread among the allies ; Saxony and Bran- 
denburg saw their frontiers menaced by a powerful and in- 
creasing army ; the Swedes beheld their retreat toward the 
Baltic likely to be cut off, and their communication with their 
resources on the point of being interrupted ; and there can be 
no doubt that, had Wallenstein been permitted to follow out 
his own plans, he would soon have forced the two electors to 
separate themselves from the Swedes, and placed the emperor 
in a position to dictate what terms of peace he pleased to Ox- 
enstiern. 

All this time, however, the enemies of Wallenstein were 
busy at the imperial court, representing him as a traitor, who 
was only waiting his opportunity to dismember the empire, if 
not to dethrone the emperor. Every failing in his character, 
every error he committed, every rash word he spoke, was 



WALLENSTEIN. 



345 



woven together with a thousand threads of falsehood, into one 
web of calumny and accusation, in which it is now impossi- 
ble, perhaps, to separate the truth from the lies. 

Wallenstein was not permitted to follow out his best de- 
signs against the enemy. The fears of the emperor and the 
Duke of Bavaria checked him in full career. The Swedes 
were making immense progress in the south, and Ratisbon 
itself fell before the arms of Bernard of Weimar on the 24th 
of October. Nothing seemed left to impede the march of the 
Swedish army along the Danube to Vienna. Maximilian* 
considered once so great a general, was cowed and panic- 
struck ; the emperor had no one to rely upon but Wallen- 
stein ; and messengers were sent off to him, entreating, per- 
suading, and commanding him to march at once, without an 
instant's delay, to the defense of the Austrian territories. 
They reached him just as he was hovering like an eagle over 
Dresden, ready to stoop upon the Saxon capital ; and, with 
mortification and anger, he obeyed the order. 

Leaving a large body of his troops behind to secure his 
conquests, he marched through B^Jaemia toward the Uppet 
Palatinate. At Pilsen tye held a conference with the famous 
Austrian minister, Trautmansdorff ; and the report of their 
interview must not be passed over, as the words and conduct 
of Wallenstein, related by one who was in no way friendly 
to him, are totally at variance with the charges afterward 
brought against him. Trautmansdorff tells the emperor, in 
his letters, that he found the Duke of Friedland in the high- 
est possible state of anger and irritation, complaining bitterly 
of the calumny of his enemies at the court of Vienna, and of 
the conduct of the emperor himself, who, contrary to the 
stipulations which he, Wallenstein, had made on assuming 
the command of the army, had sent private orders to Gen- 
erals Strotzzi and Altringer without his concurrence. On 
account of this interference, Wallenstein expressed his de- 
termination to resign. This might have been a mere threat ; 
but at the same time he coupled it with serious advice, which 
was totally incompatible with the designs attributed to him. 
He urged the emperor to conclude a peace as speedily as pos- 
sible, declaring that every thing would be lost if such a course 
was not pursued ; and he represented to the monarch that 
ten battles gained by the Austrian troops would be produc- 
tive of very small results, as the Swedes, supported by all the 
external and internal enemies of the house of Austria, would 
never want resources by which their losses might be retrieved, 

2 



346 DAKK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

while the loss of a single battle on the emperor's part would 
put his crown in peril. 

As if to give an opportunity of ascertaining whether the 
emperor would follow Wallenstein's advice or not, fresh pro- 
posals of peace were brought by Duke Francis Albert of 
Lauenburg, before the conferences of Pilsen terminated ; and, 
strange to say, the emperor and his minister seem to have 
been perfectly willing to trust the negotiation entirely to the 
Duke of Friedland. Wallenstein, however, refused to under- 
take the whole responsibility of a task in which he probably 
knew that he should be frustrated by the intrigues of the 
court of Vienna and he merely besought the emperor to con- 
sult him upon the principal points proposed. It is further to 
be remarked that, in the correspondence of this time, the em- 
peror speaks of him in the highest terms, and denies having 
listened to any reports against him. The falsehood of this 
denial is now hardly doubtful. 

After the conferences with TrautmansdorfT, Wallenstein, 
having previously sent Strotzzi with a considerable force to 
aid the Elector of Bavaria* marched with the rest of his army 
to Furth, investing the town of Cham by the way, evidently 
with the intention of drawing Bernard of Weimar away from 
the banks of the Danube. In this object he succeeded, for 
Bernard immediately hastened to give him battle. But with 
divided forces, too late in the year to recover Ratisbon, and 
with a Saxon army threatening the frontiers of Bohemia, 
Wallenstein did not choose to risk an engagement with the 
victorious Swedes, and, retreating skillfully into Bohemia, pre- 
pared to place his troops in winter-quarters, within the em- 
peror's hereditary dominions. 

This step, it would appear, gave offense to Ferdinand ; and 
for the iirst time we find him speaking of Wallenstein in a 
jealous and irritable tone. He required the troops to be 
quartered beyond the frontiers ; and, if that could not be 
done, the distribution of the army was to be submitted to the 
emperor, in order that he might make his^)wn arrangements 
for the reception of the troops with the governors of the prov- 
inces. Count Questenberg was the bearer of the emperor's 
will to the Duke of Friedland, who, anxious to get rid of the 
responsibility of refusing to obey impracticable commands, re- 
ferred the imperial suggestions to a council of war, which re- 
jected them with open contempt, declaring they must have 
been drawn up by persons utterly ignorant of military mat- 
ters. The officers composing the council added to this scorn- 



WALLENSTEIN. 347 

ful reply loud and significant murmurs at their treatment by 
the imperial court, complaining that their pay was withheld, 
that even the money they had advanced for the levy of troops 
had never been repaid, and that there seemed no hope of their 
obtaining satisfaction. 

All these murmurs were set down to the charge of Wal- 
lenstein. Insinuations, rumors, accusations were repeated 
from mouth to mouth at Vienna ; and the emperor, accus- 
tomed to break all his own engagements, could not believe 
that any one would be more faithful. He had formally agreed 
not to meddle in any way with the command of the army ; 
but yet at this very time he sent orders to an officer of the 
name of De Suys to lead the forces under his command to 
aid the Elector of Bavaria ; and a very angry correspondence 
ensued, the emperor insisting and Wallenstein opposing his 
will. The emperor even threatened in language not to be 
misunderstood ; but the Duke of Friedland still represented 
the danger of weakening the force at his command. 

Suddenly a great change takes place in the tone of the 
emperor's letters. He resumes the appearance of confidence 
and friendship ; and even in the month of January, 1 634, 
writes in a familiar and kindly manner. At this very time, 
Ferdinand had taken measures for removing Wallenstein from 
command, and was in secret communication with the superior 
officers of the army for the purpose of securing their co-op- 
eration in whatever course he thought fit to pursue. 

The intrigues which were taking place could not be alto- 
gether concealed from Wallenstein. He had friends in Vien- 
na, and many in the camp were sincerely attached to him. 
He saw that his ruin was determined, and he easily under- 
stood that the fears of a weak monarch might lead to greater 
severities than the mere depriving him of command. To 
Trautmansdorff he had announced his determination of re- 
tiring altogether from the emperor's service unless peace were 
speedily concluded, and of seeking a refuge at Dantzic, with 
a very few friends, to wait for the fulfillment of his prophe- 
cies. He now, it would appear, determined to forestall the 
designs of his enemies by immediate resignation ; and gather- 
ing a number of his officers together in Pilsen, he informed 
them of his resolution. 

Many authors, having at their head the famous name of 
Schiller, have here commenced a long detail of treasonable 
practices carried on by Wallenstein in the imperial army, few 
of them giving any authorities for the statements which they 



348 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

make, and even those few resting their assertions on the most 
frail arid most suspicious foundations ; letters written, and re- 
ports made to the court of Vienna by the known enemies of 
Wallenstein. by Italian mercenaries whom he had either pun- 
ished or offended, and by persons who had more or less a di- 
rect share in his assassination. 

It is painful to be obliged to say that, among all these, so 
great a man as Schiller has shown the very least knowledge 
of historical criticism. His account of Wallenstein 's death, in 
his history, deserves the name of a fiction fully as much as the 
representation of the same event in his play ; and for a mul- 
titude of statements which he makes there can be brought 
forward not the slightest evidence whatever. All the story 
'of Wallenstein's transactions with Illo and Piccolomini are 
based upon materials which can never serve for the foundation 
of true history ; and though the details of many^parts of this 
sad tragedy are enveloped in mystery, from which it is in vain 
to hope they will ever be extracted, I must say that Schiller 
has only rendered the darkness more profound by bringing 
across it the evanescent flash of his own imagination. Fors- 
ter has thrown more light upon the scene than any one ; but 
even he has left the conduct of the principal characters still 
very doubtful. History, indeed, is but a mist, through which 
some grand forms are seen, and over which some mountain 
tops appear. 

We only discover at this point that the conduct of the em- 
peror was base, pusillanimous, treacherous, and faithless. We 
know that he did all the things with which he afterward 
charged the memory of his victim : that he concealed his de- 
signs, that he affected friendship when he meditated murder, 
that he intrigued with the officers of Wallenstein's army, that 
he falsified truth, and successfully enacted the hypocrite. 

Wallenstein, in the mean while, stands a grand shadowy 
specter, the outlines of which we can but indistinctly perceive, 
though we see a vast and majestic form before us. The thick 
mists with which passion and prejudice have enveloped it are 
rendered the more obscure aad impenetrable by the gloomy 
reserve of the man himself, as a black mountain is less easily 
seen on a dark night than a chalky cliff. What were his de- 
signs we know not. To what point of treason he had been 
goaded on, either by his own ambition or by the ingratitude 
and baseness of the court of Vienna, it is impossible to say ; 
but this much is clear, that, till his retreat from Furth into 
Bohemia, not one proved act of Wallenstein gives any reason 



W A L L E N S T E I N. 349 

to suppose that he was engaged in treason. The charge rests 
solely upon the assertions of the basest, subtilest, and most 
interested persons, while many of the great general's acts are 
perfectly incompatible with the ambitious designs ascribed to 
him. Had he meditated usurping the crown of Bohemia, he 
never would have treated the proposals of France with con- 
temptuous silence. Had he thought of dethroning the em- 
peror, and driving the Austrian family out of Germany by the 
arms of Sweden, France, and Saxony, he would never have 
urgently and perse veringly counseled the immediate conclu- 
sion of peace. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

ARE these men met for a merry-making, with their gay and 
glittering accouterments, their plumes waving, their scarfs 
fluttering, their embroidery glittering in the light ? Yes, they 
have assembled in the house of Field-marshal Illo for a grand 
banquet, and forty-two of the most renowned officers of the 
Austrian army are there. There are, indeed, only three su- 
perior officers absent : Altringer, and Colleredo, and Gallasso, 
or Gallas, as he is called, two Italians and a German. They 
are all met to hold one of the wild revels of the time, on their 
temporary reunion in Pilsen. But why are there gloomy faces 
and frowning brows among them ? Their aspect is not that 
of revelers. They look like angry and disappointed men. 
But let us hearken to their words. 

" We must not let him resign the command," said one ; 
" if he do, the army and we are lost. What can a king of 
Hungary do against Weimar or Horn ?" 

" What is to become of our pay ?" added another ; " neither 
my men nor myself have touched a florin these nine months." 

" Except what you squeezed out of the Frankfort citizens," 
replied another. " But where are we to look for the repay- 
ment of all our advances ? The emperor owes me, for money 
spent in raising my regiment, fifteen thousand crowns.". 

" It was upon the duke's assurances I spent my last penny 
in. the emperor's service," said a fourth, " and he must needs 
see me paid." 



350 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

" How can he see you paid without an army at his back ?" 
demanded Illo ; " the moment he retires from command, he 
is as powerless with the imperial court as a sick sheep." 

" He will do what he can for every man, be you all sure 
of that," said Terzsky ; " no one ever gave his money so freely 
among the soldiers. What I fear is that he will have nothing 
left to give, and no power to obtain any thing from the em- 
peror. I know that he has drained his duchies of the last 
crown." 

" Why, the emperor owes him twenty millions of florins," 
rejoined Illo ; " and it is an easy way of canceling the debt 
to accept his resignation. No, no, rny friends, we must not 
let him resign." 

" But how can we prevent him ?" asked another ; " he told 
us positively that he would command no longer." 

" That is because he has wearied Vienna in vain with im- 
portunities for our pay," said another ; " and because he thinks 
that diplomatic fools have it all their own way with the court, 
and will do what they like with us, and himself, and the 
army. We must take the same way that the Swedes have 
taken with good old Oxenstiern, enter into a league among 
ourselves to do ourselves right, and him too." 

" Nothing rash," said Illo : " if we can keep the duke at 
our head, we are safe. All he can desire is to be made sure 
that we will support him. Let us give him the assurance 
under our own hands then. Look here, I have drawn out a 
paper which we can all sign ; for it is prudent, though it is 
firm. There is no treason, no mutiny in that. With this for 
his security, Friedland can boldly oppose every effort to do us 
wrong, and make every effort to do us right." 

" Great wrong they wanted to do me," said another officer, 
" when they ordered my corps to be quartered at Glogau. 
Why, after fighting all the summer and all the autumn, I 
should have had to fight all the winter for my quarters, if the 
duke had not resisted." 

" Ay, we owe him every thing," answered a new speaker, 
" and I'll shed the last drop of my blood for him." 

In the mean time the paper was handed round, passing 
from one to another, till all had read it. No one made any 
objection, although Piccolomini looked somewhat askance at 
the pledge, and asked, in a whisper, of an officer near him, 

" What do you think, Brenner ?" 

" I think that without it we are all lost, and the duke too," 
replied the officer to whom he spoke. 



WALLENSTEIN. 351 

" The emperor is a good and gracious master, nevertheless," 
said Piccolomini, in the same tone. 

"Doubtless," answered Brenner; "but he has bad men 
about him ; and you see f we only bind ourselves to serve arid 
obey Friedland as long as he uses the army in the service and 
for the good of the emperor." 

While they spoke, the meal was served, arid all sat down 
to the rich and dainty fare provided. Wallenstein was not 
present. Noise he could not bear, and revelry he hated '; and 
there soon were noise and revelry enough. Rapidly went round 
the wine, and deep drank the guests. Laughter, and jest, 
and song, and shouts of applause shook the whole house, and 
reached even the ears of persons in the houses opposite. The 
lowest soldiers in the camp, the merest party of plundering 
cuirassiers who had suddenly fallen upon some unexpected 
booty, could not have rioted more rudely than the great men 
there present, the counts, the barons, the generals. Picco- 
lomini himself drank as deeply as the rest, and, growing wild 
with wine and excitement, drew his sword and shouted for a 
bowl of wine to the emperor's health. Every one drank the 
toast without hesitation ; but when the paper was again men- 
tioned and produced, every one also signed the promise to hold 
by Wallenstein to the last drop of their blood, as long as he 
should continue to command the army in the service and for 
the good of the emperor.* 

Even Piccolomini himself put his hand to the paper ; but 
shortly after, two gentlemen entered the room, whispered a 
few words to him, and drew him immediately away from the 
revel. He looked back with longing eyes at the circling wine ; 
but he had still some sense left, and suffered himself to be led 
to a house opposite, where lodged two emissaries of the impe- 
rial court. 

But where was Wallenstein all this time ? Seated in a 
lonely room, far from the scene of revel, with sentries stationed 
round, to prevent any noise reaching his ear and disturbing 
his thoughts. The table before him was covered with many 



though undoubtedly read in the paper submitted before the banquet, 
was omitted altogether in that which was brought forward for signa- 
ture afterward, and that the half-drunken guests did not perceive the 
fraud. The falsehood of this assertion is evident. Many of the officers 
present were tried for this transaction, and not one of them made the 
pretended fraud a ground of defense, or even an excuse for their con- 
duct. They all contended that the document they signed was per- 
fectly loyal. 






352 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

papers, reports of quarter-masters and adjutants, plans of for- 
tifications, maps of different countries, and innumerable let- 
ters. That on which his eyes were fixed, however, was a 
sketch of conditions proposed for the conclusion of a general 
peace ; and leaning his head upon his hand, he examined 
every clause, and thought over it deeply. 

" No, no," he said, at last ; " that will not do. The em- 
peror does not see that it would give the Saxons an entrance 
into Bohemia when they pleased, and make them all-power- 
ful in the empire ;" arid, taking a pen, he wrote something in 
the margin, in a small and feeble hand, very different from 
the bold and decided style of writing which he had used some 
twenty years before. He then went on with the other 
clauses, commenting upon many of them, then sent for a mes- 
senger, and, sealing up the packet, dispatched it to Vienna. 
After that, he turned to matters connected with the quarter- 
ing of his forces, and then wrote some letters to agents on his 
vast estates, pressing them earnestly to raise money by any 
means, to enable him to give part of the arrears of pay to the 
troops. 

For several days after these events, messengers were con- 
stantly on the road, passing to and fro between Pilsen and 
Vienna, and between Vienna and Prague. The imperial 
cabinet was agitated by consultations, conferences, and nego- 
tiations. A thousand rumors, arising no one could tell how, 
of great deeds being on the point of execution spread abroad ; 
and the demeanor of the emperor, agitated, troubled, often at 
his prayers with more than even his usual devotion, gave 
countenance to the sinister rumors that were current. The 
Spanish and Bavarian ministers were very busy, and more 
than one Italian officer was frequently closeted with the em- 
peror. 

Sounds reached Wallenstein that gave him some alarm, 
which even the friendly and confidential letters of the emperor 
could not altogether remove. On the 13th of February, Fer- 
dinand wrote to his general, expressing the utmost confidence 
in him, and trusting the safety of the kingdom of Bohemia to 
his care. Wallenstein had already been pronounced an out- 
law, and officers had been appointed to deprive him of his 
command. The sentence was kept secret, as far as it could 
be ; but some rumor must have reached Wallenstein's ears ; 
for, a week after, he dispatched Brenner and Mohrwald to 
express to the emperor his readiness not only to resign his 
command, but to appear, at any appointed time or place, to 



WALLENSTEIN. 



353 



answer all charges which could be brought against him. 
Neither messenger reached his destination. Both were ar- 
rested on the way by Piccolomini and Diodati. 

On the evening, and during the night of the 21st of Feb- 
ruary, intelligence was brought to Wallenstein that a procla- 
mation^ of outlawry against him had been posted up in the 
streets of Prague ; that Piccolomini and Diodati were march- 
ing upon Pilsen with the troops under their command ; and 
that an Italian regiment, to whom he had sent some orders 
during the day before, had refused to obey, declaring that he 
was no longer their general. He could doubt no longer. He 
saw that his ruin was determined, and he resolved to fly and 
seek refuge with the Swedes. 

Notwithstanding every warning he had received of the 
machinations of his enemies, notwithstanding all the vast and 
ambitious designs attributed to him, no preparation had been 
made for the defense of Pilsen, no troops collected even to 
guard his person. At this time, Francis Albert, duke of 
Lauenburg, was in the town, still charged with a negotiation 
for peace between Saxony, Sweden, and the empire. Him 
Wallenstein instantly dispatched to Bernard of Weimar, who 
was then at Ratisbon, to beg assistance from a generous en- 
emy. 

Instead of being in league with the Swedes, as has been 
asserted, Wallenstein was looked upon by them so complete- 
ly as their enemy, that Bernard refused at first to move a 
single regiment to protect him ; and, until he heard that the 
Duke of Friedland had actually quitted Pilsen, he took no 
one step in his favor. 

In the mean time, however, the unhappy Duke of Fried- 
land began his march for Egra on the 22d of February, 1634, 
early in the morning. Ill, desponding, and indignant, with 
but a handful of troops to accompany him of all the magnifi- 
cent army he had lately commanded, he journeyed forward in 
a sort of horse-litter, surrounded^by those on whom he thought 
he could most fully rely. His friends, Field-marshal Illo, 
Counts Terzsky and William Kinsky, and an officer named 
Neumann, bore him company, with the wives of some of them. 
Colonel Butler, an Irish Roman Catholic officer, commanded 
two hundred dragoons, who formed part of the escort, and 
seven companies of infantry made up the rest. In Butler, 
Wallenstein had the greatest confidence. He had favored 
him on many occasions ; and he little knew that now, even 
on the march, Butler was corresponding with Piccolomini, re- 



354 



DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



ceiving his instructions, and promising to thwart the designs 
of " tlie rebels" 

Wallenstein's first day's march ended at Miess. The sec- 
ond evening brought him to Egra, the commandant of which 
fortress was a Scottish Calvinist of the name of Gordon, lieu- 
tenant colonel of Count Terzsky's regiment : the major of the 
same regiment was another Scotchman, of the name of Les- 
lie ; and neither of them had yet heard of Wallenstein's dis- 
grace with the court of Vienna. They received him, then, 
with the highest honors ; and Wallenstein, entering the town, 
took up his abode at the house of the mayor, which fronted 
the public market-place. 

Egra was the last fortress on the Bohemian frontier ; and 
Wallenstein now thought himself in security. Nevertheless, 
he frankly communicated to Gordon and Leslie the situation 
in which he was placed, and the cause of his flight from Pil- 
sen, telling them they might follow him into his exile or not, 
as they thought fit. They both promised at once to adhere 
to him ; and Wallenstein slept in peace that night at Egra. 

During the night, however, Butler called Gordon and Les- 
lie to a conference, showed them a secret order from Picco- 
lomini, the exact directions contained in which will probably 
never be known, and the emperor's proclamation against 
Wallenstein. The determination of the two Scotch officers 
was instantly changed. In their secret conference, the speedy 
death of Wallenstein was resolved . Seven others, five Irish- 
men and two Spaniards, were brought into the plot ; and 
they all took an oath, over their drawn swords, to murder 
their general. He was not to be the only victim, however. 
Gordon had invited Illo, Terzsky, William Kinsky, and Neu- 
mann to sup with him, in the citadel, on the following even- 
ing ; and, as their faithful attachment to Wallenstein was 
likely to throw impediments in the way of the assassins, it 
was determined that they should be the first victims. 

The day passed over in perfect tranquillity. Wallenstein, 
feeling safe in Egra, had determined to wait there for intelli- 
gence from the Swedes. His faithful friends, Terzsky and 
Kinsky, with their wives, were lodged in a house opposite. 
The soldiers of the garrison seemed all strongly attached to 
him, and he had no fear. 

When the hour of supper arrived, the four guests proceeded 
to the citadel, while Wallenstein, who kept himself apart 
from all such meetings, remained tranquilly at home. As 
soon as Illo, the two counts, and Neumann had entered the 



WALLENSTEIN. 355 

citadel, the gates were closed. Devereux, one of the Irish 
conspirators, was placed in a small room next to the supper 
hall with six dragoons, armed only with their swords, to pre- 
vent noise. Geraldine, another, with twelve more dragoons, 
was in another chamber close at hand. The rest of the con- 
spirators were there as guests. Gordon and his companions 
bore a gay and smiling aspect, received their destined victims 
with every appearance of frank kindness, sat down to table 
with them, eat, drank, and made merry. The supper ended 
and the servants gone, Geraldine and his dragoons entered 
the hall, while Devereux appeared at the other door. The 
one cried, " Long live the house of Austria !" the other, 
" Who are good imperialists ?" Butler, Gordon, and Leslie 
drew their swords and attacked the unhappy guests. 

Kinsky fell at once. Illo strove to reach his sword from 
the wall behind him, but was stabbed in the back and slain.* 
Neumann, terribly wounded, fell under the supper table ; but 
Terzsky, whose sword was within reach, cast himself into a 
corner of the hall, and defended himself to the last, calling 
down vengeance on the traitors. Before he fell, he had killed 
two of his assailants, mortally wounded a third, and disarmed 
a fourth, but he was at length overpowered and slain. Neu- 
mann, in the confusion, contrived to escape to the court-yard, 
but it was only to be cut down by the guard, as he did not 
know the countersign. Leslie (or, as others declare, a servant 
of Terzsky's) issued forth immediately after from the gates of 
the citadel, taking his way toward the town. The guard, 
not knowing him, fired two shots after him, which must have 
created some alarm, though they did not take effect ; and 
Leslie, returning to the castle, made the soldiers under arms 
take an oath of fidelity to the emperor. 

A new consultation was then held, and it would seem that 
even the murderers of the brave men who had just fallen 
hesitated to shed the blood of Wallenstein. Long habits of 
reverence, and even of fear, made them doubt and tremble as 
they approached the terrible deed. They consulted whether 
it would not be better to take him alive and carry him as a 
prisoner to Vienna ; and one even suggested that, though the 

* Schiller's account is different. He says that Count William Kin- 
sky and Count Terzsky were killed at once, and that it was Illo who, 
placing himself in a window, reproached Gordon with his treachery, 
and killed several of his assailants before he was dispatched. I have 
chosen, of course, the statements which seem to me best authentica- 
ted ; but I think it right to point out to the reader that this terrible 
transaction is very differently represented by different writers. 



356 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

deed might be very acceptable, the murderers might be pun- 
ished. 

The slaughter of four superior officers, however, seemed to 
put long hesitation out of the question ; and Butler soon per- 
suaded his companions that honors and rewards, not punish- 
ments, would follow the death of a man equally feared and 
hated by the imperial court. 

It was resolved to conclude the tragedy. Yet so dreadful 
was the name of Wallenstein, that the deed was not attempt- 
ed without the utmost precaution. A hundred dragoons were 
sent down to parole the streets of the town, to keep all quiet, 
and especially to watch the house in which Wallenstein re- 
posed. Nevertheless, some rumors of what had been passing 
in the castle must have got abroad ; for about midnight the 
Countesses Terzsky and Kinsky received intelligence of the 
assassination of their husbands, and filled the air with their 
shrieks. 

Just about the same hour, Captain Devereux presented 
himself with six halberdiers at the door of the mayor's house, 
and demanded to speak with Wallenstein. The duke, after 
a conference, it is said, upon what authority I know not, with 
Seni the astrologer, had retired to bed. But it was so com- 
mon for superior officers to visit him at unusual hours, that 
his guard, which had not been increased in number, suffered 
Devereux and his companions to pass. A page upon the 
steps, indeed, was seized with alarm, and began to make a 
noise ; but he was instantly run through the body with a 
pike, and silenced by death. In the ante-room of Wallen- 
stein's chamber, or just coming out of it, Devereux encountered 
the valet who had aided his lord to undress, and who begged 
him not to make a noise, as the duke was going to sleep. 

"But this is the time for noise, friend," shouted Devereux; 
and, finding the door locked within and without, he burst it 
open with his foot. 

The voices of women, shrieking for the death of their hus- 
bands, had come across the square, and called Wallenstein 
from his bed the moment before. He was standing at the 
window, leaning with his hand upon the table, and about, ap- 
parently, to ask the guard below what was the matter, when 
Devereux burst into the room. Wallenstein turned instant- 
ly toward him ; and the murderer exclaimed, " Art thou the 
villain who seekest to bring the emperor's soldiers over to the 
enemy, and wouldst take the crown from his head ? Now 
must thou die." 



WALLENSTEIN. 357 

Even at this moment he paused, and hesitated for an in- 
stant, as if waiting for an answer. Wallenstein, however, 
made him none. He now understood the whole ; and bold, 
proud, and firm to the last, he threw wide his arms and re- 
ceived the point of Devereux's partisan in his breast. He ut- 
tered not a word, but fell dead upon the ground, without cry 
or groan. 

Thus died the Duke of Friedland with the same proud 
dignity which he had displayed through life. 

A debt of twenty millions was canceled at a blow ; vast 
estates were acquired by confiscation to the imperial crown ; 
the emperor was delivered from the fear of the greatest man 
in his dominions, and from the bondage of gratitude to one 
whom he could never sufficiently reward. It was natural 
that those who ran down the deer should have a part of the 
flesh, and all who took a share in the murder were magnifi- 
cently rewarded. Butler found his bloody hand pressed in 
that of the emperor. He received a regiment, was made a 
count. The archbishop decorated him with a gold chain, 
and confiscated estates supported his dignity. The same was 
the case with Leslie. Gordon and Devereux were honored 
arid rewarded ; and large sums of money showed each of the 
common soldiers engaged what a profitable thing it was to 
murder in the emperor's service. 

It was natural, too, to calumniate the memory of the dead, 
as well as to reward the actions of the living. The service- 
able deed had left a stain behind it, which could not be wiped 
away like the blood from the hands of the assassins. The 
charges against Wallenstein and his friends were published 
to the world. They were many, serious, and supported by 
grave assertions. But they failed to convince historians, who 
approached the subject with any degree of critical intelligence, 
that Wallenstein ever entertained any serious design of uniting 
with the enemies of the emperor, till he was driven in self- 
defense to seek support against the maltreatment of the court 
of Vienna. Whatever judgment men might form of his con- 
duct and his character, whether they might think him guilty 
or innocent, a faithful subject or a mutinous soldier, the dark 
hypocrisy of the emperor, his scorn for all the forms of justice, 
his black trafficking in the blood of his subjects, his ingrati- 
tude, his meanness, his baseness, were displayed by every act 
that preceded, accompanied, or followed the tragedy of Egra. 



358 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



HEROD THE GREAT, 



INTRODUCTION. 

THE country from Mount Taurus to the Arabian Desert 
offered, during the latter years of the Republic of Rome, a 
scene of inextricable confusion, upon which it is needless to 
dwell. Multitudes of petty kings and tyrants started up, 
the limits of whose territories were continually changing ; and, 
though frequently chastised by Roman generals, the hydra of 
anarchy invariably renewed the heads that were smitten. 

Though Rome was bold enough to call Asia a Roman 
province, yet a multitude of states and territories were totally 
independent, even between the Euphrates and the Mediter- 
ranean. On the other side of the Euphrates, a wide extent 
of country was occupied by the Parthians. Tigranes reigned 
in Armenia ; Mithridates occupied Pontus ; and to the south 
of Judaea lay Idumaea, filled with the wild children of the 
desert. In Judaea itself, after the death of Antiochus the 
Great, many changes had taken place. Judas Maccabseus 
rose up for the deliverance of his people, and, receiving the 
office of high-priest, made a treaty of league and amity with 
the Romans. His brethren, Jonathan and Simon, continued 
to defend Judaea against many enemies, till the latter was 
treacherously killed, and was succeeded in the high-priesthood 
by the famous John Hyrcanus, his third son. 

Hyrcanus proved himself a mighty and a good ruler ; and, 
though not always successful, still he did not fail, on the 
whole, to extend the power of the Jewish people, subdued the 
Idumaeans, imposed upon them the rites, and induced them 
to submit to the law of the Jews. The Idumaeans thus be- 
came proselytes of justice in the eye of the Jewish law, and 
were looked upon as forming part of the same people, though 
not descended from any of the tribes of Israel. A portion of 
the territory which they inhabited had formed' part of the in- 
heritance of Simeon and Judah, and Hyrcanus was therefore 
justified in requiring them to submit to proselytism, or to 
abandon the country. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 359 

Under Hyrcanus, the Jewish people were governed, ap- 
parently, with great equity and justice. He endeavored, it 
would appear, to purify the religion of the Jews from many 
of the corruptions which had been introduced. He contented 
himself with the high-priesthood and the powers which it 
conferred, and was reputed to possess the gift of prophecy ; 
but with him ended the theocratical form of government. 

Aristobulus, the eldest son of John Hyrcanus, was an am- 
bitious and wicked prince. He assumed the regal diadem, 
and cast his mother and two of his brethren into prison. His 
mother he starved to death, and afterward caused his favor- 
ite brother, Antigonus, to be assassinated. Sickness, however, 
overtook him, and remorse increased disease, till death termin- 
ated his career, after a reign of only one year. During that 
short time, he and his brother Antigonus, whem he slew, had 
added the greater part of Ituraea to Judsea, compelling the 
inhabitants to become proselytes. 

The death of Aristobulus was followed by the troublous 
reign of Alexander Janneus, his younger brother, who was 
delivered from the prison into which Aristobulus had cast 
him, by Salome, the wife of that prince. Often defeated, he 
nevertheless rose again from his reverses, greatly increased the 
territory of the Jews, and by treaty with Aretas, king of the 
Arabians, induced him to withdraw his troops from Judaia, 
and retire to Coelosyria, a portion of which had fallen into his 
possession a short time before. 

Alexander's wife, Alexandra, obtained rule in the kingdom 
at his death, after a reign of twenty-seven years, and govern- 
ed with great power and little scruple during nine years ; but 
the end of her days was troubled by the revolt of her sec- 
ond son, Aristobulus, who sought to snatch the kingdom from 
her hands and from those of his brother Hyrcanus. At her 
death, Aristobulus succeeded in possessing himself of the 
royal authority and the high-priesthood, torn from his brother 
Hyrcanus, who agreed to leave him the dangerous elevation 
to which he aspired, and to retire forever into a private sta- 
tion. 

It is at this period of the Jewish history that there first ap- 
pears, in a prominent light, a man of courage and abilities, 
whose family was destined to play a prominent part in some 
of the great tragedies of the world. Antipas, or Antipater, 
was an Idumaean by birth. By some he is asserted to have 
been lineally descended from a Jewish family of distinction, 
carried away in the Babylonish captivity ; but it would ap- 



300 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

pear that such was not really the case, and that he was mere- 
ly an Idumjean proselyte of great wealth and talent. Before 
the death of Alexander, he had married an Idumsean lady, 
named Cypros, who bore him four sons, Phasael, Herod, Jo- 
seph, and Pheroras, and one daughter, named Salome. He 
had been greatly esteemed by Alexander and by his wife Al- 
exandra, and had held considerable offices in Idumsea under 
their several reigns. In these offices he had cultivated the 
friendship of the neighboring Arabs, and had entered into 
strict alliance with their king, Aretas. 

In the beginning of the reign of Aristobulus, however, An- 
tipater was in Jerusalem, a sincere and ardent friend of Hyr- 
canus. Doubtless he served his own ambition in serving that 
prince ; but yet, during a long course of years, he showed 
greater truth and sincerity in his friendship than was usually 
met with in those corrupt and anarchical times. Indignant 
at the usurpation of Aristobulus, and grieved at the inactivity 
of Hyrcanus, Antipater labored to light sojne spark of ambi- 
tion in the bosom of the latter. By dint of much persuasion, 
he at length induced him to fly with him from Jerusalem by 
night, to the court of Aretas, the neighboring king, and to 
beseech that monarch's aid in the recovery of his kingdom. 
Aretas was then residing at Petra ; and thither the two fugi- 
tives directed their steps, having taken care to secure a favor- 
able reception by previous negotiation. 

After much entreaty, Aretas was prevailed upon to enter 
Judaea at the head of fifty thousand men, for the purpose of 
restoring Hyrcanus to his throne. He defeated Aristobulus in 
battle, won a great part of his army from him, and besieged 
him in Jerusalem. He was forced, however, to raise the 
siege by the Roman Scaurus, who was bribed by Aristobu- 
lus ; and the dispute between the two brothers was subse- 
quently referred to Pompey the Great, when he visited Da- 
mascus. Antipater conducted the cause of Hyrcanus against 
his brother Aristobulus, and performed the task with great 
skill and judgment, winning the good will of Pompey, al- 
though he could not obtain an immediate decision in favor of 
Hyrcanus. 

The imprudence of Aristobulus, however, produced the ef- 
fect which Antipater desired and probably anticipated. His 
preparations for resisting the Roman power soon reached the 
ears of Pompey, who, in consequence, forced him to give up a 
number of fortresses. He then retired to Jerusalem, and there 
continued proceedings evidently tending toward hostilities with 



HEROD THE GREAT. 361 

Rome. But on the approach of Pompey he took fright, vis- 
ited that great general in his tent, and offered to give his sol- 
diers admission into Jerusalem. The soldiers, whom he had 
himself collected, however, refused to permit the execution of 
his promise, and shut their gates against a detachment of the 
Romans sent to take possession of Jerusalem. Thereupon 
Pompey threw Aristobulus into prison, and obtained posses- 
sion of the city itself by means of one of the factions into 
which the Jews were divided. The Temple, indeed, forming 
a strong citadel in itself, still held out, garrisoned by the sol- 
diers of Aristobulus. That building, however, was taken by 
assault, and the holy places profaned by the blood of the Jews 
and the footsteps of the infidel. 

After this victory Pompey acted with great moderation, ab- 
stained from touching the vast treasures of the Temple, caus- 
ed it to be cleansed and purified, and restored the high-priest- 
hood to Hyrcanus. He rendered Judaea, however, tributary 
to Rome, and carried away with him as prisoners Aristobulus 
and his family, consisting of two sons and two daughters. 
The eldest of these sons, named Alexander, made his escape 
by the way, and for many years carried on a desultory war 
with the Romans. Antigonus, the younger son, accompanied 
his father to Rome, but afterward played an important part 
in the affairs of Judaea. Scaurus remained with two Roman 
legions in the command of Coslosyria. In the struggles which 
afterward succeeded between Alexander, the son of Aristobu- 
lus, and the Romans, Antipater, faithful to Hyrcanus, gave 
great assistance on all occasions to his allies, and contrived to 
maintain the closest friendship both with Scaurus and Ga- 
binius. The latter officer, after having gained great glory in 
Judsea, was succeeded by Crassus, one of the most covetous of 
the Roman leaders. His only act of note while in Judaea was 
the pillaging of the Temple, before he set out upon his ill- 
omened expedition against the Parthians. 

The result of his iniquitous attempt to subdue a nation 
which had given no offense to Rome is well known. He was 
misled by his guides, and surrounded and defeated by the Par- 
thians, who slew him without mercy during a conference, and 
are said to have poured molten gold down his throat in con- 
tempt for his insatiable greediness. Thirty thousand Roman 
soldiers were lost in this disastrous expedition ; but Cassius 
the quaestor contrived to effect his escape with a small body 
of cavalry, and successfully defended the Syrian border against 
the irruptions of the Parthians. 

Q 



362 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

Not long after, the civil war broke out between Pompey and 
Caesar ; and the latter, setting free Aristobulus, sent him into 
Syria with two legions to overthrow the party of Pompey in 
Judaea. He was poisoned, however, very shortly after his ar- 
rival ; and his son Alexander was also put to death, by Pom- 
pey's order, at Aritioch. His wife and daughters, with his 
younger son Antigonus, found refuge with Ptolemy of Chalcis. 

In the war between Pompey and Ca3sar, Antipater dis- 
played the utmost dexterity, avoiding the enmity of both ; 
and after the success of the latter, and the death of his former 
friend, he rendered great and important services to Caesar in 
his expedition against Egypt. Mithridates of Pergamos, in 
his march to join Julius in Egypt, had been stopped at As- 
calon, by the opposition of the people of the country ; but he 
was speedily joined by Autipater at the head of three thousand 
armed Jews ; and his influence with both the people of Pal- 
estine and the Arab princes in the neighborhood proved even 
more serviceable to Mithridates than this re-enforcement. His 
military skill arid great- courage were now displayed in a re- 
markable manner. Marching on along the sea-shore, Mith- 
ridates advanced into Egypt without any further opposition, 
till he reached the town of Pelusium, to secure which place 
was an important object with Caesar. The town made a 
vigorous defense ; but Antipater, with his Jewish and Syrian 
troops, effected a breach in the walls, and, pouring into the city, 
opened the way for the rest of the army. A large tract of 
country, however, between Magdolum and Memphis, was oc- 
cupied by a Jewish population, which showed the strongest 
determination to prevent the junction of Mithridates and Cae- 
sar. The diplomatic skill of the Idumaean was now called 
into play ; and in a very short space of time he contrived to 
bring over the whole of the emigrant Hebrews to the party 
of Caesar. A battle succeeded between Mithridates and the 
Egyptian troops ; and in it the wing commanded by Mithri- 
dates himself was completely defeated, with the loss of eight 
hundred men. Antipater, however, who commanded the left 
wing of the army, not only defeated the body of troops opposed 
to him, but, turning upon those who had proved victorious 
over Mithridates, he routed them with great slaughter, and 
took their crimp. After a junction had been effected with 
Caesar, he continued to distinguish himself greatly in the war, 
and was highly honored and caressed by the mighty Roman. 

It was in the midst of this glorious career that Antigonus, 
the son of Aristobulus, thought fit to appeal to Caesar against 



HEROD THE GREAT. 363 

one who had just rendered him such important services. He 
charged Antipater with having caused Aristobulus to be pois- 
oned and Alexander to be beheaded, and laid many grievous 
complaints both against him and Hyrcanus for the misgovern- 
ment of the Jewish people. But the Idumeean, who was pres- 
ent, rose and defended himself with great eloquence. The 
sentence of the Roman tribunal was in his favor ; and Csesar, 
confirming Hyrcanus in the high-priesthood, left Antipater to 
choose what principality he would receive as a reward for his 
services. The Idumsean immediately fixed upon Judaea ; and 
he was named procurator, with leave to rebuild the walls of 
Jerusalem, which had been cast down by Pompey. 

The conquest of Egypt being complete, Caesar hastened to 
reduce Pontus, Armenia, and Cappadocia, in which Pharna- 
ces, the son of Mithridates the Great, was waging a vigorous 
and successful war against Rome. Antipater accompanied 
Julius, at all events, to the frontiers of Syria, and then re- 
turning to Judaea, quieted some factions which had arisen in 
Jerusalem, rebuilt the walls of the city, and assumed the mil- 
itary government, leaving to Hyrcanus all the rights and priv- 
ileges of the high-priesthood. Hyrcanus, however, was a sloth- 
ful and indifferent man, and a mere machine in the hands of 
Antipater. 

In order to rule the country with greater facility, and with 
a view to the future aggrandizement of his family, Antipater 
nominated his eldest son, Phasaelus, governor of Jerusalem 
and the surrounding country, and bestowed upon his second 
son, Herod, the fine district of Galilee. Both were very young 
men, and both sought at this time, by an honorable rivalry, to 
merit the love and respect of the people committed to their 
charge. 

Thus much it has seemed necessary to say of Antipater the 
Idumsean and his family, in order that the reader may be 
aware of the events which first raised Herod the Great from 
a private station to that high power and authority, in the ex- 
ercise of which he afterward gained a dark and terrible fame 
in history. 



* * 



364 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 



CHAPTER I. 
HEROD THE GREAT. 

THE Jewish Sanhedrim was sitting in all the picturesque 
costume of the East ; and busily did they whisper with eager 
faces one to the other, asking still each of his fellow, " Will 
he come ?" 

On the outside of the council chamber was a multitude of 
people, under the shadow of the porticoes or of the great build- 
ings, moved by all those factious passions, to which none have 
been more terribly made slaves than the giant-minded race of 
Israel. There were the clamor and the confusion of a thou- 
sand tongues, all the wild, fierce gesticulation of the East, the 
screaming, the groaning, the shouting, the chattering, which 
may often be seen in an Oriental crowd on very small occa- 
sions. ^ 

This, however, was no small occasion ; for Herod, the gov- 
ernor of Galilee, notwithstanding his father's vast influence 
and renown, had been called to take his trial before the great 
council of the nation, for a violation of the Jewish law. The 
case was one of life and death ; for the law had been un- 
doubtedly violated ; and a bitter faction had risen up against 
Antipater and his children, which was sure to strain the letter 
of the statute to the utmost. 

" No man could be put to death in Judaea without the 
solemn sanction of the Sanhedrim," so said the law ; and Her- 
od, the young governor of Galilee, had undoubtedly treated 
this law with contempt. The people without argued sharply 
with one another, as their passions or their interests led them, 
and called for his death or justified his conduct, according to 
their party and their prejudices. 

" Why, what has he done ?" cried one. " He has only 
performed an act of justice, and delivered the country under 
his rule from oppression." 

" He has slain Hezekias ! he has slain Hezekias !" scream- 
ed another ; " and whether Hezekias was bad or good, mat- 
ters not, for he had no right to put him to death without the 
sanction of the Sanhedrim." 



HEROD THE GREAT. 365 

" But Hezekias was a robber," replied others, " himself a 
notorious violator of the law. He had put to death many 
without authority." 

" Still he could not be justly condemned without the San- 
hedrim," said another. " Whatever were his crimes, Herod 
was not his judge, and ought to die according to the law." 

Thus argued the crowd ; but the question within was still, 
" Will he come ?" and many doubted it, and listened eagerly 
for any sound in the city that might give note of Herod's ap- 
proach. 

At length there was a loud shout, distant and dull, but still 
showing that something had greatly moved the people ; and 
it was repeated nearer and more near, till the crowd from 
without began to flow into the place of assembly, women, whose 
husbands had perished with Hezekias, tearing their garments 
and appealing for justice, and others with the prying eye of 
curiosity, and others meved by faction and by prejudice. Still 
there was a roar and a shout without, and many of the San- 
hedrim turned pale. 

One asked another, " Is he a man of terrible countenance ?" 
for few were there who had seen Herod, and few even of 
those remembered him. 

A moment after, a band of armed men, several hundreds 
in number, with breast-plate and helmet, and sword and spear, 
came into the area, and thronged the open space before the 
tribunal. The eyes of the judges ran over the troop, seeking 
for the mighty man who in a few short weeks had freed 
Galilee from the great band of plunderers which had so long 
oppressed it. But the soldiers parted on either side, and from 
the midst approached, and stood before the Sanhedrim, a fair 
and beautiful youth, unarmed, but clothed in a long purple 
robe of the finest and most costly texture. He seemed hardly 
to have reached manhood ;* but upon his broad and lofty 
brow was the firm dignity of mental power and high courage. 
There was no dread, there was no hesitation, although he 
stood there to be judged for life or death. Calmly and firmly 
he rolled his dark eye over the elders of the people ; and when 
no one spoke, he said aloud, " You have summoned Herod. 
Herod is here !" 

Still the Sanhedrim sat voiceless. Dread and doubt seemed 
to have taken possession of them all. They looked upon one 

* The age of Herod at this period is uncertain. In one account he is 
said to have been under sixteen ; but after dates, given in Josephus, 
would lead us to believe that he was several years older. 



360 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

another ; but no one spoke. There was a profound silence.* 
The accusers were dumb ; the very cries of the mothers, whose 
robber sons he had slain, were stilled; and he stood several 
minutes before the council ere any one ventured to speak. 

At length Simeon, the son of Shetaoh, called Semeas, rose. 
He was an old man, righteous and fearless, who had seen 
many a heavy day pass over Jerusalem, and knew the hearts 
of the rulers well. He saw that Herod's boldness would ab- 
solve him, and he was resolved to raise his voice against it. 

"Hearken, you who are judges with me," he exclaimed. 
" Neither I nor any of you, I suppose, have known such a case 
as this, that one summoned to take his trial here ever stood 
before us in such a manner. Every one who comes to be tried 
by this council presents himself with submission, shows fear 
and dread, strives to move us to compassion in a mourning 
garment, and with hair disheveled ; but this great man Her- 
od, called to answer a heavy accusation, and accused of mur- 
der, stands here clothed in purple, with his armed men around 
him. If we condemn him by our law, he may put us to death, 
and himself escape it. Nevertheless, Herod himself I do not 
so much complain of in this matter, for, of course, he is more 
careful to preserve himself than the laws ; but I complain of 
you and of your ruler, who have allowed him thus to act. 
But take you notice that God is great, and this very man, 
whom you are about to acquit and suffer to go free on account 
of Hyrcanus, your high-priest, will one day punish both you 
and him." 

The speech had its effect. A murmur ran through the 
assembly ; and men said to one another, " Let us do justice 
on this man Herod, be the result what it may." 

Voices were about to be raised for judgment, if not for jus- 
tice, for Herod had violated the Jewish law, by slaying men 
taken in actual crime, without the decision of the Sanhedrim. 
Such was his only offense ; but the Sanhedrim was tenacious 
of its power ; and all the Jews were sticklers for the letter of 
the law. But at this moment, when an adverse decision was 
most likely to be given, the high-priest rose and adjourned the 
further proceedings till the following day. 

Herod retired to his house, and the high-priest to his 

* The Jewish rulers seem to have been more struck by Herod's pre- 
senting himself gorgeously appareled rather than in the weeds of hu- 
miliation, than by the body of armed men who accompanied him. These 
were not very numerous, sufficiently so, indeed, to insure his personal 
safety, but not to endanger the government or the security of the town. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 367 

palace ; but when Hyrcanus was alone in his own chamber, 
he took out of his scrinium a letter which had reached his 
hands that morning, and read once more the words that it 
contained. 

" Know, O Hyrcanus," so ran the last lines of the letter, 
" that if thou dost give way to the madness of this stiff-necked 
people in this thing, and they do evil unto Herod, the son of 
Antipater, thy -friend, I will bring an army upon Jerusalem, 
and take the power out of thine hands, and severely punish 
the people of thy city, even as it has deserved." 

It was signed with the name of Sextus Caesar, president 
of Syria ; and the warning was not lost upon Hyrcanus, whose 
sense of gratitude was less strong than his sense of fear. Mes- 
sengers from the ethnarch reached Herod that night beseech- 
ing him, for the love of Hyrcanus, to quit the city, and not to 
appear before the Sanhedrim again. 

The youth smiled proudly, and murmured to himself, " If I 
do, it shall be with an army." 

Within an hour, he and his men of war mounted their 
horses, and marched deliberately out of Jerusalem, taking the 
way toward Damascus. V-- : 

Tumult and confusion spread through the holy city ; the 
council of seventy-one murmured loudly against Hyrcanus for 
suffering Herod to escape. They were more bold in his ab- 
sence than in his presence ; and they said, " What was in 
this beardless boy that we should have feared him ?" but ere 
many days were over, there came a rumor of war from the 
north. Men said that Herod was created, by Sextus Csesar, 
general of the Roman army, of Coelosyria, and that his legions 
were already in motion toward Jerusalem. Each man who 
came from Galilee, or Bataneea, or Samaria, brought tidings 
of moving armies and troops advancing to the south ; ^,nd still 
the name of Herod was on every one's lips ; and fear filled 
the hearts of the factious and the turbulent. Some talked of 
resistance, and of raising armies ' too ; but when Herod was 
heard of at Gamela, and his troops crossed the Jordan and 
entered Samaria, and when Judaea itself was entered, and the 
armed men reached Beroth and Gibeon, terror took possession 
of all ; and men went and besought Antipater and Phasaclus 
to take means for defending the city. The answer was, " Can 
I fight against my own son whom ye have sought to oppress ?" 
"Can I fight against my own brother, whom ye have wrong- 
ed?" 

At the prayer of Hyrcanue, however, Antipater and his 



368 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

eldest son went forth to meet Herod, and to intercede for peace. 
They found the young man, the general of a mighty army 
ready to obey his lightest word, and eager for the pillage of 
Jerusalem. They found him fierce and angry too, his look 
proud and his spirit vehement. 

" Think they," he asked, " that they can deal with Herod 
like' a common malefactor, and summon him before their coun- 
cil, and judge him to death for not obeying all the forms of 
their law ? When their law was impotent against the mur- 
derer and the robber, and the common pillager of the land, 
with my own right hand I took him, with my own hand I 
slew him, and put to death the companions of his crimes. 
For this have I been disgraced in the sight of men, by stand- 
ing as a criminal before their tribunal ; and verily I will wipe 
away the stain, even though it be with their own blood." 

But the voice of his father was powerful with him ; and 
Antipater found means to pacify him, and made him see that, 
having shown the people of Jerusalem his power, it was suf- 
ficient to overawe them for the future. Herod was persuaded 
that he would gain more glory by sparing the city than by 
punishing the Jews ; and, having arrayed his troops within 
sight of the walls, he turned back on his way, and left Jeru- 
salem at peace. 



CHAPTER II. 

HEROD THE GREAT. 

N N 

WAR and confusion spread throughout the Roman empire. 
Caasar was slain in the Capitol ; innumerable factions arose ; 
and Syria became one scene of anarchy. Cassius took posses- 
sion of the Asian province, and with ten legions exacted heavy 
contributions from the people. 

Faithful to the policy which he had always followed, An- 
tipater, without talcing any decided part in the wars between 
the Roman factions, supported the power which was predom- 
inant. His policy was successful. Cassius and Marcus both 
befriended the Idumaean family ; and once more Herod was 
made general of the forces of Coelosyria. We find a whisper 
in history, that already Cassius had promised, if successful 



HEROD THE GREAT. 369 

in the war with the triumvirs, to make Herod Kino- of 
Judaea. 

But a great loss was about to befall Herod. The only pow- 
er which had acted as' are straint upon his ambition was to be 
taken away. Antipater was poisoned at a banquet by one 
named Malichus ; and the cup was administered by the but- 
ler of Hyrcanus himself. 

Herod was resolved upon revenge ; but there was much 
difficulty in accomplishing it without provoking a civil war. 
Malichus was protected by Hyrcanus ; the Jews, and even 
the people of Galilee, believed they had been treated more 
mildly by him than by Herod, in the levy of contributions to 
the Romans ; and Malichus boldly denied all share in Antip- 
ater's murder, and affected to mourn for him as a friend. 
Herod was forced to dissemble ; and, pretending to believe the 
declarations of his enemy, he determined to try his power be- 
fore he used it. He boldly approached Jerusalem at the head 
of a body of armed men. Admission was refused him by 
Hyrcanus, at the instigation of Malichus ; but Herod treated 
the commands he received with scorn, and entered the holy 
city with his troops. He abstained from slaying Malichus in 
Jerusalem, indeed ; but he laid a trap for him, arid, inducing 
him to proceed to Tyre, had him slain upon the sea-shore as 
he was approaching the city. 

The power of Herod remained great and increasing. An- 
tigonus, the son of Aristobulus, supported by a Roman army, 
attempted to gain possession of Judaea ; but Herod defeated 
and expelled him ; and Hyrcanus, with his own hand, put a 
garland on his head as his best friend and protector. The al- 
liance between them was confirmed by the espousals of Herod 
and the beautiful Mariamne, daughter of Alexander, son of 
Aristobulus. She was also grand-daughter of Hyrcanus him- 
self. Herod had previously married an Idumsean lady named 
Doris, by whom he was already the father of one son named 
Antipater. 

Notwithstanding the glory he had acquired, notwithstand- 
ing the services he had really rendered the Jews, notwith- 
standing the moderation which he had shown in many things, 
and to attain to which, with his vehement and imperious dis- /,. 
position, must have cost him a great effort, Herod was still an 
object of envy to many of the Jewish factions. The effects 
of these evil passions were not long in displaying themselves. 

After the death of Cassius and Brutus, while Octavius 
Caesar turned his steps toward Italy, Mark Antony took his 

O2 



370 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

way to Asia, and entered Bithynia, where he was met Ijy 
deputations from many of the Eastern nations, and among the 
rest by a large party of Jews. Herod, however, was before 
them in reaching Antony, who was in some degree bound to 
the interests of his family, by hospitality received at the hands 
of Antipater, when the triumvir accompanied Gabiriius into 
Syria several years before. Herod, however, did not trust to 
the gratitude of a Roman. He knew that there was a passion 
far more powerful, and that he did not fail to gratify. He 
took large sums of gold with him, and Antony became his 
friend. Hy rearms was also there, ready to support the cause 
of Herod ; and all was prepared to meet the envious accusa- 
tions of the Jewish deputation, as soon as they should be pub- 
licly preferred. 

Antony, however, whose pleasure-loving temper was already 
obtaining the mastery over his powerful mind, refused to hear 
the Jews hi Bithynia, and marched on slowly toward Antioch. 
He took up his abode in the pleasant groves of Daphne, near 
that city ; but his enjoyments were disturbed once more by 
the application of the Jews, who sent a hundred of the prin- 
cipal citizens to complain of Phasaelus and Herod, accusing 
them of tyranny and injustice, and of depriving Hyrcanus of 
all real power. Several of the Jewish orators were put for- 
ward to plead against the two brothers ; but Antony's mind 
was already prepossessed, and, turning to Hyrcanus, who was 
present, he demanded of him who was best fitted to bear sway 
in the land. Hyrcanus at once answered, Herod and his 
brother ; and Antony, without further deliberation, bestowed 
upon the two brothers the tetrarchy of all the Jewish terri- 
tories, which he had already, by a decree from Ephesus, com- 
manded the Roman governors established by Cassius in Syria 
to restore fully and entirely to the Jews, in the same state 
and to the same extent as they had been possessed by that 
people before the commencement of the war between the re- 
publicans and the triumvirate. 

This decision astonished and irritated the anti-Herodian 
faction. They broke out into loud and insolent murmurs 
against a man round whose footstool was gathered a crowd of 
suppliant kings and princes ; and Antony, who was only mild 
when he was left to enjoy his luxury undisturbed, seized fifteen 
of the embassadors, and drove away the rest with contumely. 
The fifteen prisoners he ordered to be put to death ; but they 
were spared at the intercession of Herod, whose young heart 
had not yet been hardened by years of strife and suffering. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 371 

If he hoped by moderation to win the Jews to submission and 
gratitude, he was much mistaken ; for a tumult of indignation 
broke forth in Jerusalem, and when Antony paused for a short 
time at Tyre, as he rushed on eagerly to the arms of Cleopa- 
tra, a new deputation, consisting of a thousand of the Jews, 
reached that city, in order to oppose, in a threatening manner, 
the decree which he had pronounced. 

They were met by Herod and Hyrcanus on the sea-shore, 
and entreated to forbear from following a course which could 
only bring ruin and destruction on themselves and their coun- 
try. But argument and persuasion were equally in vain. 
The host of embassadors became clamorous and vehement ; 
and Antony, enraged, sent a party of soldiers to drive them 
away from the city, slaying all on whom they could lay hands. 
Many were killed, many were wounded, and the fifteen^ who 
had been before made prisoners were now put to death. Still 
the Jews continued in a state of tumult and confusion ; and 
after Antony marched on into Egypt, Jerusalem and Jud^a 
were one scene of anarchy and bloodshed. 

The moment of Herod's greatest danger was now approach- 
ing. When Antony entered Asia, with eight legions and ten 
thousand horse, it had been his intention to march against the 
Parthians, the most dangerous enemies of the Syrian province. 
The charms of Cleopatra, however, overcame all considera- 
tions of ordinary prudence ; and his wise purpose was aban- 
doned as soon as he had beheld her upon the banks of the 
Cydnus. After his departure, and during the confusion that 
ensued while he remained in Egypt,, the danger which had 
menaced Syria from the Parthians fell upon it. Pacorus, the 
son of the Parthian king, entered the land at the head of a 
large force, and speedily made himself master of a great part 
of the country. Dividing his army into two bodies, he him- 
self marched along the shores of the Mediterranean, while the 
second division, under Barzapharnes, a celebrated general 
among the Parthians, advanced through the midland parts 
of Syria, both forces tending toward Judaea. The confusion 
in the latter country was great, as I have shown ; and it was 
increased by the re-appearance of Antigonus, the son of Aris- 
tobulus, on the scene, supported by his connection, Lysanias, 
the son of Ptolemy, king of Chalcis, who had always espoused 
the interests of his family. Antigonus raised his standard on 
the side of Mount Carmel, in the immense woodland of the 
mountain called Drumos. He was speedily joined by a large 
body of insurgent Jews, and now negotiated with the Parthi- 



, 372 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

ans for their assistance, offering them the somewhat singuh 
bribe of a large sum of money and five hundred women. Th 4 
negotiation was conducted by Lysanias ; and the Parthians 
agreed to expel Hyrcanus, and restore the kingdom of Judaea 
to Antigonus. 

Fortified by this treaty, the Jews of the party of Antigonus 
hurried forward from Carmel to Jerusalem, gained an entrance 
into the city, and besieged Hyroanus in the palace. But Pha- 
saelus and Herod both hastened to the assistance of their 
friend ; a battle took place in the market-place ; the insur- 
gents were defeated, and a large body of them driven into the 
Temple. 

In this fortress they continued to hold out ; and Herod placed 
a small body of men in the neighboring houses, to insure that 
his enemies did not escape, while he endeavored to pacify the 
city, and restore some degree of order. His efforts were vain, 
however ; a number of the disaffected took arms, attacked the 
houses in which his soldiers had been stationed, and burned 
them, together with the men which they contained. Herod, 
in revenge, fell upon his opponents, and slew a great number ; 
and day after day, for several weeks, the streets of Jerusalem 
flowed with human blood. The party of Phasaelus and Her- 
od, however, gradually obtained an ascendency ; and Herod, 
with his troops, garrisoned the palace and the buildings adja- 
cent, while Phasaelus was master of the walls and principal 
towers of the city. 

Such was the state of things when the feast of Pentecost 
arrived ; and a vast multitude of Jews from the country flocked 
into Jerusalem. Many came to the feast armed ; and into 
their hands the charge of the Temple was given, while a body 
of the troops of Antigonus, which had possession of the suburb, 
were attacked and defeated by Herod with great slaughter. 

At this moment a small body of Parthians, whose treaty 
with Antigonus, it would seem, had been kept secret, appeared 
before Jerusalem, headed by the cup-bearer* of the Parthian 
prince Pacorus. This officer, in secret conceit with Antigo- 
nus, offered to mediate between the contending parties in the 
city, and requested admission for that purpose. His train con- 
sisted only of five hundred horse ; and Hyrcanus, judging that 
so small a troop could not be dangerous, granted his request ; 
but the wily Parthian did not propose to attain his object so 
much by force as fraud. He wound himself into the confi- 

* His name was also Pacorus, which has been the occasion of some 
confusion in the history of these transactions. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 373 

dence of Hyrcanus and Phasaelus, and persuaded them that 
their only chance of obtaining peace and tranquillity lay in 
their accompanying him to negotiate with Barzapharnes, who 
was now advancing toward Jerusalem. 

Herod saw through the meditated treachery at once, and 
eagerly besought his brother not to trust himself in the hands 
of the barbarians, but rather to take arms with him, and ex- 
pel them from the city, or put them to death. Phasaelus and 
Hyrcanus, however, remained firm in their foolish confidence, 
perhaps strengthened in their trust by the proposal of leaving 
two hundred Parthians in the hands of Herod. 

They accompanied the Parthian leader, then, with a con- 
siderable train, among which, it would appear, were several 
women. For a considerable distance on the way they were 
treated with every kind of distinction ; and it was only when 
they reached Galilee that they began to entertain doubts of 
the good faith of their companions. The whole country was 
in a state of insurrection and confusion; attacks were made 
upon them where they encamped for the night ; and at the 
town of Ecdippon, a short distance beyond Ptolemais, they re- 
ceived distinct information of the treaty between Antigonus 
and the Parthians, with an intimation that the women in their 
company were to form part of the five hundred slaves promised, 
and that they themselves would have been seized long before, 
had it not been the design of the Parthians to entrap Herod 
also, by tidings of the good treatment which they received. 

It would appear that Phasaelus could now have effected 
his escape, and that one of his companions, named Ophellius, 
who had been the first to discover the plot, earnestly entreat- 
ed him to do so. The son of Antipater, however, nobly re- 
fused to forsake Hyrcanus ; and going to the Parthian leader, 
he boldly reproached him with his treachery, and offered, if 
the Parthians would abandon the cause of Antigonus, to pay 
them a much larger sum than that which had been promised. 
The cup-bearer, however, declared and swore that the intelli- 
gence which Phasaelus had received was false ; but the same 
night he set out for the camp of his lord ; and no sooner was 
he gone than both Phasaelus and Hyrcanus were seized by 
the Parthian guard. They were immediately delivered by 
the Parthians into the hands of Antigonns ; and the conduct 
of each was in accordance with his character. 

When brought into the presence of his nephew, Hyrcanus 
fell upon his knees before him, abjectly beseeching mercy. 
The brutal Antigonus, though he oould not resolve to put 



374 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

him to death, took means to prevent his ever exercising the 
office of high-priest again, by tearing off his ears with his own 
teeth, for no mutilated man could hold the dignity. 

Phasaelus was cast into prison in bonds ; but he showed no 
fear and no depression, although he was well aware of the 
merciless nature of his adversary. He had no sword to slay 
himself, nor could he have used it had a weapon been left 
him, for his hands were tightly bound ; but, resolved not to 
endure the indignities which were likely to be heaped upon 
him, he deliberately dashed his head against the stone wall 
of the dungeon ; and thus, at an early age, ended a life, in the 
whole course of which we find no evil act recorded.* 



CHAPTER III. 

HEROD THE GREAT. 

THE palace of the ethnarch was fortified and garrisoned 
like a citadel. There were armed men in it sufficient for its 
defense ; there was a fountain of clear water in the court- 
yard ; there was abundance of provision. But Herod was 
uneasy. Hour after hour he walked to .and fro in that great 
court, even in the heat of the day, while his men of war, with 
their arms ready at hand, lay stretched under the porticoes 
round. The tall, powerful form moved gracefully ; every step 
of those strong limbs was planted firmly ; but yet there was 
anxious care upon his lofty brow ; and ever and anon he 
muttered some indistinct words to himself. Never did he 
pass the gates of Jerusalem ; seldom did he even go out into 
the city ; and when he did so, he was always accompanied by 
at least a hundred chosen soldiers. He was surrounded on 
every side by treachery and enmity ; and Herod was not a man 
to be taken unprepared. 

Ten days had passed since the departure of Hyrcanus and 

* Some persons say that Phasaelus was not actually killed by the 
blow, but that Antigonus sent a physician to him, on the pretense of 
healing his wound, bi^t with orders to infuse poison into it, under the 
influence of which Phasaelus expired. A poor woman, who was at- 
tending upon him, according to this account, informed him, a few min- 
utes before his death, that Herod had escaped from Jerusalem; upon 
which he exclaimed, " Now I die content, for there is one left alive 
who will avenge me of mine enemies." 



HEROD THE GREAT. 375 

Phasaelus ; and more than once letters had reached the hands 
of Herod from Samaria and Galilee. The first told of honors 
and kindness shown to his friends by the Parthians ; then 
came others, telling of ambushes laid for the high-priest and 
his companions during the night ; but yet the Parthians 
were said to have befriended and defended them. Still Herod 
doubted, and would not trust ; and oftentimes he repeated to 
himself the name of his well-loved brother, and mournfully 
shook his head. It was the tenth day ; and in the morning 
some of the Parthian lords presented themselves to Herod, 
and told him that there were messengers without the walls, 
bearing letters from his brother Phasaelus of great import, 
but that they dared not enter the town for fear of the party 
of Antigonus. They besought Herod to go forth with them, 
and meet these messengers ; but Herod replied, 

" I will not go forth. The messengers must bring them to 
me, if they would have me see them." 

The Parthians urged and persuaded in vain. They repre- 
sented that he had the prison-gate and the water-gate in his 
own hands, and that he could be in no danger ; but still Herod 
replied, " I will not go forth." 

The Parthians departed murmuring ; and hardly had they 
gone, when Alexandra, the widow of Alexander, Aristobulus's 
son, came and joined Herod by the fountain. She was the 
daughter of Hyrcanus, the mother of the young Mariamne, a 
woman of great wisdom and prudence, who, among many ter- 
rible events, had always walked wisely. 

" Thou hast had Parthians with thee, my son," she said. 
"I saw them come as I sat in the women's apartments. 
What sought they from thee ?" 

"They would have me go forth," replied 'Herod, "to re- 
ceive letters from my brother, from messengers beyond the 
walls. They say the men are afraid to enter for fear of the 
factions. I refused to go forth, for I know the guile of the 
barbarians ; but now my heart smites me, lest my brother 
should need aid, and I regret that I have not gone." 

" Go not forth, my son, go not forth," replied Alexandra. 
" There is treachery in these men. All their looks are de- 
ceitful ; all their words are fraud. Phasaelus is lost ; Hyr- 
canus is lost ; if we lose thee, we have lost all." 

Even while she spoke, a man was admitted through the 
gates of the great court, heavy and travel- worn, with torn 
sandals and dusty garments. He made straight for Herod, 
though Herod gazed at him as a stranger. 



376 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

" Give me thine ear, oh Herod," he said, in a faint voice ; 
and Herod withdrew with him to a little distance. " I bring 
thee news from Ecdippon," said the man. " Thy brother 
Phasaelus commends him to you, and says that the Parthians 
are treacherous ; that they are leagued with Antigonus, who 
has promised them a thousand talents and five hundred women 
slaves if they will make him King of Judaea. They meditate 
treachery against thee, and thy brother, and Hyrcanus ; and 
even when I came away to Ptolemais, the report ran among 
the people that Phasaelus and the high-priest were in bonds." 

" Bringest thou no token ?" asked Herod. " Hast thou no 
letter?" 

"None," replied the man. " I saw thy brother but for a 
moment, for he w^s strictly watched of the Parthians ; and I 
set off as soon as might be. I rode till my horse died by the 
way. The rest of the journey I made on foot ; but wait till 
this time to-morrow, and thou shalt know that I have spoken 
truly." 

" Wait till to-morrow !" repeated Herod. " To-morrow 
has its tasks as well as to-day. Come hither and speak with 
Alexandra." 

They conferred closely for many minutes, and then the man 
was taken into the house and his wants cared for ; but there 
was activity and bustle in the palace ; and the gates were 
close shut, nor was any one allowed to go forth except a few, 
especially sent by Herod, nor any to come in but men with 
horses and some who brought chariots loaded with provisions 
or with arms. The Parthians watched these things, and said 
among themselves, 

" Herod prepares against a siege. What shall we do ? 
Shall we raise the city against him, and encompass him in the 
palace, and take him ?" 

Some said that Herod was a man of great prudence and 
great courage, and that it would be dangerous to assail him 
in a house that was a fortress ; and some said that he was too 
cunning ever to suffer himself to fall into their hands unawares ; 
and some, that it would be better to set strong guards all round 
the palace, and force him to surrender by hunger, for that, all 
Syria being in the hands of the Parthians, and the Romans 
in a distracted state, no help could ,come to him till the palace f 
had fallen. But their council lasted long without a decision, 
and night fell before they had resolved what to do. 

In the middle of the night, the great court of the palace 
was filled with people, and with horses, and with wagons. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 377 

There were men in armor, veteran soldiers, who had served 
in many a war, and there were horsemen lightly armed, mer- 
cenaries from different lands, but brave men and faithful, and 
there were drivers for the chariots and the wagons, and a 
mixed multitude, some with arms, and some without. In 
darkness and in silence came forth from the palace into the 
court a long train of women and children, Cypros, the mother 
of Herod, and Alexandra, Mariamne's mother, and Mariamne 
herself, with many others of high and low degree. Some 
carried infants in their arms ; some led their children by the 
hand. All were pale and trembling ; and the only sounds 
that were heard were those of the moving feet and of weep- 
ing. Many of the women and the children were placed in the 
wagons, and the rest, who were young and bold, were mounted 
upon horses ; and then the voice of Herod was heard, asking, 

" Have the soldiers from the gates and the walls drawn 
down and lined the way from the palace, as they were or- 
dered?" 

"It is done, oh Herod," answered his chief officer ; " and 
the city is all quiet in sleep." 

" Then we will depart," answered Herod. 

But the officer said, in a low voice, 

" Thou hast not brought out the treasures. Thou wilt not 
leave them for the Parthians ?" . 

" Fear not," answered the te'trarch. " My treasures were 
all safe in Idumaea seven days ago ; and so are the treasures 
of all the princes who go with me, for I foresaw what would 
come, and provided against the evil day. There is no man 
who goes with me who will not receive a hundred drachms 
of silver, as soon as we pass the frontiers of Judaea. Herod 
leaves not his treasures to the chances of war. Now mount, 
and let us forward. Weep not, Alexandra, weep not, my 
mother, for sorrow will but weaken you for flight ; and in 
swift flight is our only safety. Be of good heart, and go for- 
ward speedily with those who are given you to protect you, 
while I and my soldiers follow close behind and stop the 
enemy if he pursues you." 

In darkness and silence the palace gates were opened, and 
the sad procession moved out, taking its way toward the prison 
gate of the city. Naught was to be seen but the tall houses 
and blue twinkling sky above, and a long line of armed men 
on either side. The gates were open ; and when the wagons 
and light horsemen had passed, the soldiers who lined the 
streets fell into their order and followed ; and then came Herod 



378 DARK SCENES OK HISTORY. 

and his armed men, leaving the palace deserted. The feet of 
the horses made no noise on the dusty road ; the clang of the 
armor seemed to rouse no one in the city ; and onward they 
went, down the side of the high hill, passing between the 
tomb of Isaiah and the king's garden into the Valley of Je- 
hoshaphat. They passed over the Brook Kedron, approaching 
the Mount of Olives, and then turned away toward Idumeea, 
urging their flight as fast as their numbers would permit. 

For two hours all was still. There was no sound of pur- 
suit, no appearance of their flight having been discovered ; and 
when they had gone about eight miles, the day began to dawn 
just as they reached the rocky country between Rama and 
Bethphage. It was then that a cry came from the rear, 
" The enemy are in pursuit," and Herod gave eager orders to 
hurry on the wagons, which were winding slowly on through 
a narrow stony pass. The first wagon was that which con- 
tained Cypros, the widow of Antipater, with some of her 
grandchildren, and several Jewish women The driver smote 
the horses, and, starting on, they dragged the wagon over a 
block of stone, breaking it by the shock, and casting it over on 
its side. There rose up a loud scream ; and Herod, when he 
looked to the south, saw his mother cast headlong on the 
ground, and the broken wagon blocking up the way. When 
he looked to the west, he saw the troops of Antigonus crown- 
ing the hill, and the Parthian horsemen pouring down into 
the valley. 

For once Herod gave himself up to despair. There seemed 
no way of escape ; and drawing his sword > he would have slain 
himself on the spot, but a number of hands seized his arm, 
and the voice of one of his friends exclaimed, 

" What wouldst thou do ? Is it the act of a brave man to 
seek refuge in death, and leave those who are dear to him in 
calamity ? Stay with us, Herod, and lead us boldly to repel 
the enemy." 

The blood mounted into Herod's cheek ; and, with a look 
of shame, he arrayed his men as best he might, raised his 
mother from the ground, and placed her in another car ; or- 
dered the broken wagon to be removed, and the flight of the 
women and the helpless to be continued, while he turned to 
encounter the Parthians and their allies. He met them in 
full career, and drove them back with a terrible slaughter, 
for he and his fought for life and all that was dear to them ; 
and when he returned victorious, he found the wagons and the 
light troops already through the pass. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 379 



But his dangers were not over. The Parthians hovered 
round, the Jews followed close behind, every hour had its 
skirmish, every mile was marked by bloodshed. The cities 
and the villages, divided into the same factions which had 
afflicted Jerusalem, rose in arms as he passed, and some came 
'to give him aid, while others went to swell the ranks of his 
enemies. But still in every fight Herod was victor. At 
length, rallying in large numbers, the Jews attacked him be- 
tween the mountains and the river, and forced him to a gen- 
eral battle ; but he had now with him nine thousand men, 
and, though they had many more, he defeated them utterly, 
and forced them to fly in confusion. 

This was their last great effort before he reached the front- 
ier of Idumsea, where he was met at Thressa by his brother 
Joseph, with a small body of horse. The strong-hold of Mas- 
sada, Joseph told him, was prepared to receive him and his 
troops, amply provided both with food and water, to with- 
stand a long siege, if the garrison were not too large, and the 
place itself was impregnable to any thing but famine. 

Herod mused ; but his resolution was soon taken. Eight 
hundred of his most faithful veterans he chose for the guard 
of Massada ; and there he placed the women and the chil- 
dren, together with every sort of stores and treasures. The 
rest of the troops, except a small band which he kept with 
himself, he dispersed through Idumsea, paying each man lib- 
erally for his good services, and supplying him with means to 
live in comfort till he called him again to his standard. 

Then bidding farewell to his family, Herod, so lately the 
leader of mighty hosts, with a train reduced to a few serv- 
ants and soldiers, hurried away toward Petra to beg assist- 
ance of the Arab king, on whom he himself and his family 
had bestowed innumerable benefits, and to whose hands he 
had intrusted no inconsiderable portion of his treasures. 

Herod's first object was to redeem his brother Phasaelus 
from the hands of the Parthians, for as yet he knew not of 
his death ; but his hopes of assistance from Arabia were soon 
blighted. When yet at some distance from Petra, he was met 
by messengers from the king, commanding him to advance no 
further, and alleging that the Parthians had enjoined him to 
give no shelter or assistance to Herod. But the fugitive well 
knew that it was fear lest he should demand his own, rather 
than apprehension of the Parthians, that made the Arab king 
forbid his approach, and the chief men of the Arabs dread 
his presence. With a bitter and indignant heart he turned 



380 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

away from the perfidious land, and took the road to Pehi- 
sium to seek aid of Antony. But Antony was no longer in 
Egypt. 



CHAPTER IV. 

HEROD THE GREAT. 

THE Parthian invasion of Syria had roused Marcus Anto- 
nius from the lethargy into which the charms of Cleopatra 
had thrown him, and he was preparing to expel the bar- 
barians from one of the fairest portions of his allotted em- 
pire, when news from Italy changed the destination of his 
armament. 

Long before Julius Csesar took possession of the dictatorial 
power, the very foundations of society had been shaken in the 
Roman republic. Violence, wrong, lust, rapine, peculation, 
and corruption pervaded the city and the field ; and on the 
swords of the soldiery Julius was raised to authority, which 
could only be retained by himself or his successors by concil- 
iating the affections, by yielding to the impulses, and giving 
way to the passions of the troops. 

After the death of the dictator, and the unsuccessful strug- 
gle of Brutus and Cassius to restore a republic which was 
rotten at the heart and in all the members, three men of dif- 
ferent characters and different powers parted the Roman em- 
pire among them. The struggle of the one, though neither 
the weakest man nor the worst soldier of the three, ^Emilius 
Lepidus, was to retain as much as his two comrades would 
allow. The desire of the second was to enjoy that which he 
had obtained. The object of the third, Csesar Octavius, was 
to wrest from his fellows the whole power, and to obtain com- 
plete possession of the Roman empire. Cautious but de- 
termined, active though considerate, not cruel, but utterly re- 
morseless, he had learned from Antony, in their first struggles 
for power, the only sure method of obtaining it ; and no soon- 
er was his great colleague lapped in the luxuries of Egypt 
than he commenced a systematic course of tampering with 
the legions, and showed his determination to found a new em- 
pire upon the love of the soldiery. But Antony was much 
loved in Italy. His military successes were not forgotten ; 



HEROD THE GREAT. 381 

his careless profusion was admired ; and his friends in Italy, 
while they sent him intelligence of the proceedings of the young 
but crafty Octavius, spread among the troops an assurance 
that Antony possessed both the means and the will of reward- 
ing them even more largely than Caesar. 

No sooner did Antony hear that Fulvia his wife, and Lu- 
cius his brother, had fled to Praeneste, and that Perusia had 
been taken and burned by Caesar, than all thought of the 
Parthian war was abandoned for the tune, and his efforts 
were directed toward Italy. With two hundred ships and 
a large army, he set sail from the shores of Egypt, visited 
Athens, and shortly after appeared before the port of Brun- 
disium, on the coast of Apulia. The town shut its gates 
against him, and the siege was commenced. Caesar marched 
to the relief of the town, and a conflict between the two ar- 
mies was imminent. The soldiers of Caesar's army, however, 
had not forgotten their love for Antony, and the politic youth 
found it necessary to negotiate. Pollio Maecenas and Nerva 
brought about a reconciliation ; and Antony remained in Italy 
to marry the gentle Octavia, Caesar's sister. 

Such was the state of the Roman empire when Herod ar- 
rived at Rhinocolura, and took up his abode for the night with 
his followers in the great temple there, in order to give time 
for a number of his attendants whom he had left behind to 
join him. When they arrived, they brought him the sad in- 
telligence of his brother's death ; and Herod, who, whatever 
might be his faults, was full of strong affections, wept bitterly 
for Phasaelus. From Rhinocolura to Pelusium, from Pelu- 
sium to Alexandria, though not without difficulties, he pur- 
sued his way in safety. At Alexandria Cleopatra strove to 
detain him, and offered him the command of her troops ; but 
Herod had greater objects in view, and sailed away in search 
of Antony. Driven by a storm to Rhodes, he there met with 
friends and assistants, and, embarking in a larger ship, set 
sail for Brundisium. 

Before he reached that port, peace had been agreed upon 
between Antony and Caesar, and the former had gone on to 
Rome. Thither Herod followed him, and was received with 
all the kindness he expected. He laid before the triumvir his 
hapless fate ; he told him how his brother had been betrayed 
and died, how he himself had been forced to fly from Jerusa- 
lem, and how the Parthians had made Hyrcanus captive ; 
he told him that Antigonus had made a treaty with the ene- 
mies of Rome, had by their means obtained possession of Jeru- 



382 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

salem, and made himself King of Judaea, and that to obtain 
their assistance he had promised thern a thousand talents and 
five hundred Jewish women chosen from the best families of 
the nation. He informed him, also, that all his nearest and 
his dearest kindred were shut up in the fortress of Massadon, 
in hourly danger from the enemy ; and he besought him to 
give him speedy comfort in his distress. 

Antony was much moved with the tale, remembering Her- 
od's services and attachment ; nor was Caesar less willing to 
show himself his friend, for he, as well as Antony, could not 
but look upon Antigonus as a declared enemy of the Romans. 
But short consultations were needed, for these two men had 
the whole power of the state in their hands. 

Herod, if restored to power, or invested with greater au- 
thority than before, was likely, from his great abilities and 
unconquerable courage, to be of vast service to the Romans 
in the Parthian war, to carry on which Ventidius had been 
already ^sent to Syria ; and the Senate having been convoked, 
Herod was introduced, and two orators enlarged upon the 
benefits which he had conferred upon Rome, represented An- 
tigonus as an open enemy of the empire, and lauded the cour- 
age and the prudence of the tetrarch. The merits of his fa- 
ther, Antipater, were not forgotten ; and Antony gave point to 
the insinuations of the orator by declaring that Herod should 
be made the King of Judaea. Caesar took the same view ; 
the Senate unanimously assented ; and the decree was regis- 
tered in the Capitol.* Great honors were shown to Herod ; 
when the Senate rose, he issued forth between Antony and 
Ceesar, and the same night he was feasted royally by Antony. 

So rapidly were all these transactions conducted, that he is 
said to have been only seven days in Italy. This statement 
may possibly be correct ; but if so, the fact is a marvel, for 
the journey from Brundisium to Rome is long, and the trans- 
actions which he had to negotiate were important. Howbeit, 
Herod set out on his return to Judaea as soon as possible, ac- 
companied by several officers deputed by Mark Antony to es- 
tablish him in the kingdom which the Romans had assigned 
to him. Among the rest was the well-known and infamous 
Delius, who was charged to give the new king every kind of 

*' Josephus contradicts himself in this place, saying that Herod gave 
Antony money to make him king, and, not many lines further on, as- 
serting that he did not come with the hope or intention of obtaining 
the kingdom for himself, but for the brother of his espoused wife, Ma- 
riamue. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 383 

support, and to enjoin upon the Roman commanders in Syria 
the duty of aiding him in arms, should it be necessary. 

Herod landed at Ptolemais ; but the intelligence he there 
received might have daunted any man less bold. Massada 
was besieged by the troops .of Ant igonus and his Parthian al- 
lies. Veritidius, after having marched into Judaea, had retrod 
his steps, on receiving bribes from Antigonus, and had left 
Silo with a small body of troops behind him, rather for the 
purpose of extracting further gifts from Antigonus than to 
maintain the Roman power in the country. Silo, it was said, 
had already been largely bribed, and was covertly in league 
with Antigonus, so that a hostile army, two faithless allies, 
and a distracted population were before him. 

Nevertheless, Herod boldly set up his standard at Ptole- 
mais ; and round the little force he had brought from Rome 
he soon gathered together an army of mercenaries and volun- 
teers, sufficient to enable him to commence the war. The 
Galileans flocked to him in immense numbers, remembering 
the happiness they had enjoyed under his sway ; and Delias, 
by his exhortations, contrived to bring over both Ventidius 
and Silo, nominally, if not heartily, to the party of Herod, 
who soon took the field at the head of an imposing force. A 
number of Roman legionaries strengthened his host ; and, 
marching by the sea-side, he approached Jerusalem. 

Joppa was the only town which seems to have offered re- 
sistance ; and, notwithstanding the straits to which Massada 
was reduced, Herod prudently resolved to leave no strong 
place behind him in the hands of an enemy. Joppa was ac- 
cordingly besieged and taken, and Herod then advanced by 
rapid marches toward the Holy City. Silo then, who was at 
the time either in Jerusalem or its neighborhood, retreated to 
effect his junction with Herod, according to the orders he had 
received ; but the Jews of the party of Antigonus followed 
him in great numbers, harassed his rear, and most probably 
would have destroyed his army, had not Herod, by a rapid 
movement in advance, come to the assistance of the Romans, 
and delivered Silo in his difficult and dangerous retreat. 

The united forces then advanced to Massada, bringing suc- 
cor to the garrison, which was by this time well-nigh ex- 
hausted. For many months the place had been strictly block- 
aded ; and although provisions were still plenty, water had 
at one time entirely failed, from the excessive drought of the 
summer. Every thing around was dried up, and even Joseph, 
Herod's younger brother, who had been left in charge of the 



384 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

fortress, meditated flying from it with a choice troop of war- 
riors, and leaving the rest of the garrison, and the unhappy 
women within, to their fate. Rain, however, fell at length : 
the little cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, swelled till it 
canopied the whole sky, and the plentiful torrent descended, 
filling the cisterns of the fortress. Not long after, Herod ap- 
peared before Massada, and the siege was raised. 

Vengeance and dominion seemed now before him, and he 
turned his arms against Jerusalem, with Silo in his company ; 
but the perfidious Roman had received the money of Antigo- 
nus, and the siege was abandoned, from a pretended want of 
provisions. Still Herod was not inactive. Jericho was taken ; 
Joseph was sent into Idumaea to protect that country against 
Antigonus ; and Herod himself, proceeding through Samaria, 
entered Galilee, to recover the towns which had been taken 
by the enemy. 

In the whole of that district anarchy had now reached its 
height. Not only was the country divided between two 
factions, but enormous bands of robbers overran the land, 
plundering all parties alike. Their principal resort was in 
the rocky ground in the neighborhood of Arbela, hard by the 
River Kison. In the neighboring mountains are deep valleys 
surrounded almost entirely by precipices, apparently inacces- 
sible. The gigantic walls of these valleys are pierced with 
numerous deep caves, only to be reached from below by nar- 
row paths, over rocks which might scare the mountain goat, 
and surmounted by perpendicular or beetling cliffs some hund- 
reds of feet in height. These caves had been for many years 
the resort of the tribes of robbers I have mentioned, perhaps 
I might say for many centuries, for it is not improbable that 
this spur of Antilibanus is the position noted for strength 
in the Old Testament, under the name of the hills of the 
robbers. 

By this time, in the anarchy and confusion which reigned 
in the country, the banditti had increased so greatly, and had 
organized themselves so completely, that they ventured to 
meet the army of Herod in its march against them, and de- 
feated one division near the village of Arbela before he him- 
self appeared on the field. His arrival, however, turned the 
tide of battle. The robbers were totally routed, and fled, the 
greater part taking their way along the Valley of Jezreel, 
toward the Jordan, while the rest took refuge in their caves. 
Herod pursued the first division as far as the banks of the 
river, and then received the submission of all Galilee, pro- 



HEROD THE GREAT. 385 

viding for the accommodation of the Roman troops under Silo, 
whom the treacherous Antigonus, after having bribed to in- 
activity, tried to starve out of Judsea by cutting off all sup- 
plies of provisions. To Herod, whom he had betrayed and 
frustrated, Silo, now came as a suppliant ; and Herod, with 
royal bounty, amply provided him with all he required, and 
gave him quarters in the town of Alexandrium, in Samaria, 
which he caused to be rebuilt under his brother, Pheroras. 

The war against the Parthians, in Syria, was still proceed- 
ing under Ventidius, who required aid to conclude the struggle 
with Pacorus ; and Herod, trusting to his own courage and 
forces, sent away Silo to the Roman general early in the 
spring, while he himself went away to expel the bands of 
robbers who had found refuge in the caves. The position 
which they occupied presented what might have seemed in- 
superable difficulties to any commander of less energy and re- 
source than Herod. To attack them from below was impos- 
sible, for one man could have defended the approach against 
thousands ; but Herod contrived a means of assailing them 
from above. 

Before he had recourse, however, to the dangerous and ter- 
rible means he employed, he descended into the valley him- 
self, and caused a pardon to be proclaimed, by a herald, to all 
who would submit. Many took advantage of the offer ; but 
there were many, also, among these fierce and savage men, 
who, trusting to the strength of their rocky fortress, set the 
king's whole force at defiance. In order to reach them, Her- 
od caused engines to be raised at the top of the precipices 
above, and large chests or stages for fighting to be construct- 
ed, and let down to the mouths of the caves by iron chains. 
These chests or stages were filled with armed men, furnished 
with darts and fire to cast into the caverns, and long iron 
hooks to pull out the robbers from their dens, and cast them 
down the rocks. 

A terrible slaughter took place as the soldiers were moved 
from cave to cave ; and a number of the robbers, terrified at 
this new mode of warfare, came out and claimed the pardon 
that was offered. One old man, however, resisted to the last. 
In his cave he had a wile and seven children ; and Herod, 
who was watching the operations from below, and perceived 
the anxiety of the youths and their mother tot;ome Ibrth and 
submit, touched with pity, stretched forth his hands to the old 
robber, and besought him to yield, offering him every assur- 
ance of safety. But the stern old man continued in the cave's 

R 



386 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

mouth ; and one by one, as each child came forth from the 
narrow aperture, he slew him with his own hand, railing at 
Herod, and reproaching him with his Idumaean birth. At 
length he slew his wife also, and, casting the dead bodies down 
the precipice, took the same fatal plunge himself, and was 
dashed to pieces. 

An act of friendship and gratitude soon after called Herod 
to a distant part of Syria. It would be tedious to trace even 
briefly the career of Antony, which ended in the loss of fame, 
fortune, and life. Suffice it, he had now passed over into 
Asia, and had been for some time waging war against the 
Parthians, who had committed aggressions upon Armenia. 
But little success had attended his efforts ; and Antony loudly 
called for the presence of his allies, although we find that he 
was supported by an army of at least a hundred thousand 
men. Nevertheless, Ventidius, after the defeat and death of 
Pacorus, detached two legions and a body of horse to the as- 
sistance of Herod, under a leader named Macherus, who seem- 
ed well inclined to play the part of Silo. Herod, however, 
resolved not to fail in his duty toward Antony ; and, leaving 
Macherus and his own brother Joseph in command of a large 
Roman and Jewish force, in order to keep Antigonus in check, 
he hurried to the north of Syria with all the troops which 
could be spared from Palestine. 

Antony was at this time besieging the small town of Samos- 
ata, situated on a bend of the Euphrates, not far from the foot 
of Mount Taurus, and between Mount Amanus and the riv- 
er. It had hitherto frustrated all his efforts ; and some large 
bodies of auxiliaries, which had been collected at Antioch, 
were deterred from joining him by the presence of large bod- 
ies of Medes and Parthians, who occupied the narrow gorges 
of the mountains, and slew all who attempted to pass. 

To Antioch Herod hurried in the first instance ; and the 
presence of one who had already gained so much renown in- 
spired the auxiliaries with fresh courage. Herod at once un- 
dertook to conduct and defend them on the way. The army 
proceeded in two divisions, Herod remaining with the last, to 
defend the rear in case of attack. All passed quietly, how- 
ever, till the troops were descending from the mountains into 
the plain of the Euphrates, but there, amid the woods which 
covered the lower slopes of the hills, a body of Parthians had 
been placed in ambush, who fell upon the first division of the 
auxiliaries, routed them completely, and obtained possession 
of all their baggage. Herod, however, was near at hand, and 



HEROD THE GREAT. 387 

his arrival at once turned the fortunes of the day. Attacking 
the enemy furiously while they were engaged in plundering, 
he gave them a total defeat, slew immense numbers, recover- 
ed the baggage and the slaves, and rallying the fugitives of 
his first division, pursued, with energy and success, the scat- 
tered Parthians, so as to leave the country between Antioch 
and Samosata completely clear of the enemy. 

The news of his victory reached the camp of Antony before 
his arrival, and he was received by the triumvir with the 
greatest distinction and every mark of friendship. Herod aid- 
ed greatly, we are assured, in the reduction of Samosata, and 
the termination of the war. As soon as the city had fallen, 
Antony, still under the influence of Cleopatra, retired to Egypt, 
while Sosius was left to restore order in Syria ; and Herod 
marched back, with his own forces and two Roman legions, 
toward Judeea, where a great misfortune had befallen him 
during his absence. 

In leaving his brother Joseph with Macherus in Judaea, 
Herod had warned him not to engage in any great enterprise, 
as no reliance was to be placed upon his ally. Joseph, how- 
ever, neglecting his brother's advice, marched against Jericho, 
with the aid of some Roman troops. Getting entangled in 
the mountains, he was attacked by the forces of Antigonus, 
under the command of one Pappus, defeated, and slain, with 
the greater part of his troops. His young brother Pheroras, 
who was in Samaria at the time, offered to ransom the dead 
body of his brother from Antigonus ; but that brutal prince 
refused to part with it, and ordered the head to be struck off. 
Encouraged by this defeat, the greater part of Galilee rose 
against Herod's officers, seized his partisans wherever they 
could find them, and drowned them in the Lake of Tiberias. 

Such was the state of affairs in his kingdom when Herod 
marched back from Samosata. Innumerable perils befell him 
on the way ; but fortune did not desert him. He was every 
where successful ; and his escape from imminent danger was 
attended, on more than one occasion, by circumstances so re- 
markable, that the imagination of an excitable people saw in 
his preservation the special protection of God. 

In one instance, a house, where he had been sumptuously 
entertaining the commanders of his forces, fell down the mo- 
ment after he had left it ; and in a battle which immediately 
followed he was struck on the side Iry a dart, which, however, 
did him no injury. He defeated an army of Antigonus in the 
neighborhood of Jericho ; then turned rapidly upon Pappus, 



388 DARK SCENES OK HISTORY. 

who was encamped at Isanas. The army of the latter, it 
would appear, was much superior in numbers to that of Her- 
od ; but the king attacked him without delay, defeated him 
in battle, and drove his soldiers into the houses of the small 
town. Thither he pursued them ; and, finding them crowd- 
ed into the lower rooms, he caused his soldiery to scale the 
walls, and cast down the roofs upon those below. Multitudes 
were seen lying in heaps, thus crushed and mangled, and 
terror and confusion spread through the party of Antigonus. 
Pappus was found dead upon the field, and Herod caused his 
head to be struck off, and sent it to his brother Pheroras ; but 
on the very night of his victory he had once more a marvel- 
ous escape. 

Weary and heated with his exertions, Herod, while his 
troops refreshed themselves, sought the public bath, followed 
by one servant only. Hardly was he in the water, and total- 
ly without arms, when, from some place of concealment in the 
baths, out rushed an armed soldier of Antigonus ; a second 
and a third followed, with their naked swords in their hands, 
and Herod's life was completely in their power. But such 
was their consternation at the defeat they had received, and 
the destruction of their companions, that their only.efibrt was 
to escape ; and reaching the door of the baths, they ran away 
without doing any injury to their great enemy. 



CHAPTER V. 

HEROD THE GREAT. 

THERE is an army camping under the walls of Jerusalem, 
and Herod's men are many ; but the city boldly resists, and 
Antigonus shows no sign of fear. On the same spot, over 
against the Temple, where, seven-and-twenty years before, 
Pompey raised his standard, is now the standard of Herod, 
and Roman legions are with his host ; but where is Herod 
himself? 

There are great rejoicings in Samaria, and the town is 
filled with the songs of musicians, and with the merriment of 
the revelers ; and Herod stands in his royal robes, and Mari- 
amne in her bridal garments he in the pride and strength 






. 

* * 
HEROD THE GREAT. 389 



of his maturity, and high renown and glorious deeds, and sh 
in the brightness of her young beauty and her royal race. 

Years have passed since their espousals, and now she ia 
given to him indeed ; and all rejoice, Alexandra her mother, 
and Joseph, Herod's uncle, and Aristobulus, her young brother, 
and Salome and Pheroras. Oh, fatal marriage ! Oh, sad re- 
joicing ! How many, there laughing, shall soon weep ! How 
many, looking forward to joy and dominion, shall be cast ab- 
ject to the ground ! How many, full of life and energy, shall, 
when a few short years have passed, lie moldering in a bloody 
grave ! The beautiful and the bright, and the strong and the 
bold, the wise and the virtuous, the finger of Fate is upon 
them all, marking them out for early destruction. 

Who that gazes upon the broad brow of Herod, lighted 
up with love and satisfaction, can see there the frown of the 
stern, remorseless tyrant, which is coming fast ? Hitherto, 
although streams of blood may have flowed along his path, it 
was blood shed in open and honorable warfare ; hitherto he 
has seemed, in the eyes of all men, a man of strong affections 
and much pity, often forgiving, often moved to tenderness, 
loving with the whole strength of a strong spirit, fond of bat- 
tle and of war, but abhorring all needless cruelty. The time 
is coming, however, when all this will be changed under the 
influence of ambition and success. 

The rejoicings are over ; Mariamne is his own ; the Roman 
troops are sweeping by on their long march from Samosata, to 
aid him in recovering Jerusalem. His forces under the walls 
-are nearly trebled by the arrival of Sosius ; and, abandoning 
his pleasures, Herod carries on the siege vigorously. The en- 
gines are raised ; the battering-rams ply the fortifications ; the 
blocks of stone are hurled ; mines are dug beneath the walls ; 
eleven Roman legions, a large army of Jews and Syrians, and 
many thousand horse, sweep round the city, and cut off its 
supplies, while they themselves, by Herod's care and diligence, 
revel in abundance of every thing. 

Forty days have passed in incessant attacks ; and at length 
the outer wall is taken. Twenty chosen men mount first into 
the breach ; the centurions follow after ; and now Herod and 
the Romans attack the second wall. But fifteen days only 
are consumed ere that is won. The cloisters of the Temple 
are in flames ; the outer court is won ; the lower city is in the 
hands of Herod ; the followers of Antigonus take refuge in the 
upper city, and in the inner court of the Temple. Still Her- 
od shows himself mild. He beseeches his enemies to abandon 



390 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

a vain resistance ; he offers them mercy ; he even suffers them 
to bring in cattle for their sacrifices. But when he finds that 
they only use the permission in order to recruit their powers 
against him, the general assault is ordered, and the besieging 
army pours in over every obstacle. Then came a terrible 
slaughter that no voice could stop. Caught in the narrow 
streets, crowded in the houses and the Temple, the Jews fell 
in thousands. Massacre and plunder reigned through the 
whole city. Neither age, nor sex, nor station was spared by 
the Roman soldiery ; and Herod in vain attempts to bridle 
their fury, till at length, turning to Sosius, he exclaims, 

" Wilt thou leave me king of a desert ? I tell thee, to be 
monarch of the whole habitable earth would be no compensa- 
tion for the murder of so many innocent citizens." 

Sosius answered, coldly, that the city was taken by assault, 
and that the plunder was but a fit reward for his soldiers. 

" Well, then, let me redeem the city," exclaimed Herod. 
" Call back your troops, let them cease the destruction, and 
from my own treasures, which are ample, I will give each 
man his reward." 

But who is this clad in royal robes, but with dust upon his 
head, who comes and falls at Sosius's feet, petitioning for life 
with tears ? It is Antigonus ; but the proud Roman beholds 
him with a look of scorn, and calls him by a woman's name, 
Antigone. He hands him over to the soldiery to be bound, 
and carried as a captive to adorn a triumph. 
' The Roman troops are at length recalled. Herod has pur- 
chased forbearance ; and he is left undisputed master of the 
city. 

But now the tiger seized upon him. A remorseless spirit 
never departed from him, casting its black shadow over all 
the future acts of life, the bright as well as the dark, till his 
name stands as a curse upon the page of history. 

Antigonus was carried to Antony, the last king of the Asa- 
monean family, but Herod remembered that he might yet live 
to shake his throne ; and he purchased his death at the hands 
of the triumvir. He was beheaded as a public criminal in 
Antioch ; but this was not sufficient. The party of Antig- 
onus, too, was to be destroyed. Forty-five of the principal 
men of Jerusalem were put to death, and many others at 
different times shared their fate. 

The Romans were greedy of gold. Antony required con- 
tinual supplies ; and the immense wealth accumulated in 
Jerusalem was seized upon by Herod, to keep himself well 



HEROD THE GREAT. 391 

with the Romans. Still he found not peace or security, for 
Cleopatra governed Antony, and she desired the kingdom of 
Judaea for herself. Her daily encroachments were a source of 
anger and alarm to Herod ; but others rose up in his own 
household which shook his mighty and vehement spirit still 
more. 

Great was the beauty of Mariamne, and great was the 
beauty of Aristobulus her brother ; and Herod loved them both 
right well. But Aristobulus was of the blood royal of Judaea, 
the grandson of Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, the nephew 
of Antigonus ; and Alexandra, his mother, was an ambitious 
and an artful woman. Much had she befriended Herod ; and 
much had Herod done for her. He had listened to her coun- 
sels too ; and now his devoted passion for Mariamne seemed 
to promise her all the power that she could desire ; but a 
cause of dissension soon arose. 

Hyrcanus was persuaded to come back from among the 
Parthians, and was treated with reverence and tenderness by 
Herod ; but the king could not restore to him the high-priest- 
hood, for the mutilation he had suffered rendered him incapa- 
ble of holding the office. Aristobulus was very young, but 
sixteen years of age, and therefore ill-fitted for so great a charge ; 
but there was a priest among the trans-Euphratian Jews, of 
the high-priestly family, named Ananelus, for whom Herod 
had had a friendship in days of old. To him the king now 
sent, and, on his arrival in Jerusalem, raised him to the high- 
priesthood. Alexandra was troubled at this. She coveted 
the high-priesthood for her son ; perhaps she looked upon the 
altar as but a step to the throne. Mariamne's power over 
Herod was immense, and Alexandra's power over her daugh- 
ter unbounded ; but Alexandra was an intriguing and crooked- 
spirited woman, and she sought not the open course of re- 
monstrance and entreaty. She dealt secretly with Cleopatra, 
and through her with Antony. She even risked the degrada- 
tion and profanation of her own children. She sent their 
portraits to the lawless and luxurious triumvir ; but Herod 
frustrated her schemes, and for the time overlooked her crime. 
At last Mariamne's influence was used to elevate her brother, 
and Herod, partly in compliance with her entreaties, partly 
with the political view of binding Aristobulus forever to 
Judaea, deposed Ananelus and raised Aristobulus to the high- 
priesthood. 

At all points of history we are met by dark and unfathomable 
chasms ; for who can look into the minds of men, discover 



392 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

the secret motives of their actions, or trace in the hidden 
chambers of the heart the first germs of those designs which 
bear fruit long after ? Aristobulus was high-priest, although, 
by the custom of the Jews, no one was elevated to that sta- 
tion till he had reached twenty years of age. Nevertheless, 
he officiated in the robes and ornaments of his station ; and 
the movable people shouted their admiration of his grace and 
dignity. StiU Herod, perhaps, might have spared .him ; and 
no one can truly say that he yet thought of putting the youth 
to death ; but he had marked and knew all the proceedings 
of Alexandra ; he saw her ambitious spirit ; he was learned 
in her intricate intrigues. He had publicly reproached her 
with her dealings with Antony. She had humbled herself 
before him, and he had received her into apparent favor ; 
but she was surrounded in the palace by guards and attend- 
ants of his choosing, and all her acts were strictly watched. 

The restraint was troublesome to her ; again she dealt with 
Cleopatra, and, by the advice of the cruel Egyptian harlot, 
she laid a cunning scheme for escaping with her son to Mark 
Antony. Two coffins were prepared and brought into the 
palace, as if to carry out the dead bodies of some inferior per- 
sons. A ship was ready on the sea-coast, and, placing her- 
self in the one sarcophagus and her son in the other, she or- 
dered those in whom she had confidence to convey them out 
of Jerusalem in the- night. 

The scheme, however, reached Herod's ears by accident ; 
he suffered it to proceed to execution, then stopped the cof- 
fins ; and Alexandra was exposed in the act. He seemed to 
forgive the offense ; but it is probable that the attempt sealed 
the fate of Aristobulus ; for Herod knew right well that his 
escape to Egypt would have been the signal of his own down- 
fall. 

Months passed ; and Herod, Alexandra, and Aristobulus 
were friends. The Feast of the Tabernacle was over, and 
Alexandra and her son entertained the king and his court at 
Jericho. High was the feasting and revelry, and gay were 
the sports and pastimes ; and in merry mood, as it seemed, 
Herod and his servants went out into the gardens of the house 
to amuse themselves as the day declined. Beautiful were the 
gardens of Jericho, with their balm-bearing palm- trees ; beau- 
tiful the clear pools, filled with silvery fish. Intensely hot, 
however, was the weather ; and as they gave themselves up 
to wild and childlike games, the ambitious youth, the great 
warrior, and the slaves and servants of the king, some one 






HEROD THE GREAT. 393 

proposed to bathe in the tanks just when the sun went 
down. 

The attendants obtained permission, stripped and plunged 
in, while Herod and Aristobulus lay upon the bank and saw 
their sports in the clear water. At length Aristobulus was 
seized with the spirit likewise, and he also plunged into the 
pool. Twilight was coming on ; the sport ran high ; one of 
Herod's servants playfully seized the prince as he swam and 
dipped him beneath the waters ; another came, and another. 
They dipped him down, they held him down ; sometimes he 
struggled free, but was soon caught again. It seemed all in 
sport ; but before the darkness was complete the beautiful 
Aristobulus was drawn out with affected care and laid a 
corpse upon the bank. Herod stood and gazed upon the face 
of the dead ; and as he looked upon that fair countenance with 
the eyes forever closed in death, his heart smote him and he 
wept bitterly. 

* A costly funeral, a magnificent sepulcher, spices and orna- 
ments were lavished on the corpse ; but the people of Juclsea 
remained convinced that the death of Aristobulus was the 
work of Herod ; and those who judged most favorably said 
it was a hard necessity. 



CHAPTER VI. 

HEROD THE GREAT. 

ANTONY the triumvir sat in Laodicea by the side of Cleo- 
patra, and the tongue of the siren was busy against Herod. 

" He will not come," she said ; "he has slain the princely 
boy Aristobulus, and he dare not present himself before An- 
tony." 

Antony smiled upon her, but he believed her not, and still 
answered that Herod would come. And Herod did come ; 
not only bringing with him his own eloquence for his defense, 
but a large sum of money as a gift far more eloquent than 
the tongue of any orator. His audience was most favorable. 
No one could prove that he had taken part in the murder , 
no one could prove that there had been any murder at all. 
The voice of Cleopatra herself was of no effect against him, 

R 2 



394 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY. 

and Antony reveled with him at the banquet and placed him 
on the same tribunal with himself. 

The letters of Herod were full of joy and satisfaction, and 
with a cheerful countenance he set out again for Jerusalem, 
thinking of love, and rule, and success. But the drop of pois- 
on had been prepared for the cup of his peace during his ab- 
sence, and it was the hand of his own sister that was to ad- 
minister it. 

The news spread through the palace that Herod was within 
a day's journey ; but his household was all in confusion. Ma- 
riamne smiled gladly ; but there was bitterness in her smile, 
for she said, " Now I shall be no longer under subjection to 
my husband's sister and his mother." Bitter words passed 
between her and Salome, and Mariamne held her head proud- 
ly, and taunted Herod's sister with her Idumasan birth. Sa- 
lome pondered her purposes in her own heart, and was silent. 

Herod returned, and he soon found that there had been 
dissension among the women. His mother, Cypros, was 
gra*ve and silent, and when they were alone she told him 
that false intelligence had come during his absence of Anto- 
ny having put him to the torture and doomed him to death. 
Therefore, she said, Alexandra and Mariamne had proposed 
to his uncle Joseph, whom he had left procurator in Judaea, 
to fly to Julius, the commander of the Roman legion which 
lay about Jerusalem. 

Here her tale ended, and it was true. Salome gave him 
the same history, but she added to it. She told him that the 
widow of Alexander and the queen had calculated that if 
Marcus Antonius had once set eyes on the beauty of Mari- 
amne, he would become her slave, as he had become the slave 
of Cleopatra ; and she ended with a sigh, and the words, 
" Alas, my brother !" 

Her eyes were cast down as she spoke, and she fell into 
thought. 

" What more ?" demanded Herod, sternly. 

" Nay, why should I take away thy peace ?" said Salome. 

" Speak !" cried Herod ; " thou hast more to tell." 
" Art thou not too confident of Joseph ?" asked his sister ; 
" he was often with thy Mariamne nay, too often. He was 
with her day by day in the inner chamber ; and none had 
admission in those secret hours. She is wonderfully beauti- 
ful, and Joseph is not hard-hearted to fair women." 

Oh how Herod writhed under the torture of his heart ; but 
he turned away without a word, and sought the chamber 



HEROD THE GREAT. 395 

of his wife ; and there he stood and gazed on her with eyes 
full of love and jealousy. He would fain have killed her ; 
but love was too strong for rage, and she looked calm and 
beautiful. 

" What ails my husband ?" asked Mariamne ; "he seems 
greatly moved." 

" Art thou false to me, Mariamne ?" asked Herod, with a 
frown ; and she started on her feet with a look of terror and 
surprise. 

" False to thee !" she exclaimed, with the blood burning 
in her cheek. " No, so help me the God of rny fathers. 
Who has poisoned thine ear against me, and done this great 
wickedness to take away thy favor from me by a lie 1" 

" Why, then, was Joseph with thee so often in the inner 
chamber ?" asked Herod ; " and why were all other people 
kept out, while he was admitted ?" 

"Didst thou not leave him procurator in thy place?" asked 
Mariamne ; " and was it not needful that he should speak 
with me when the people were turbulent, and false tidings 
came that thou wert dead ? Thrice, and thrice only, did he 
come to me ; first, to tell me thou hadst arrived at Laodicea ; 
next, to take counsel with me when men said that Antony 
had put thee to death ; and, lastly, to comfort me by showing 
that the news was false. Moreover, know, oh Herod, that 
when men said thou wert dead, there was great confusion of 
counsel in the place. Some advised one thing, and some an- 
other ; and some would have me fly to the Romans for aid 
against the mutinous people of the city. Nay, further still, 
I as a weak woman might have done as they would have had 
me, for I thought of saving my own life ; but I sent to Jo- 
seph to come to me ; and he showed me that to go to the 
Romans, who had put thee to death, would be to seek thine 
enemies ; and therefore I refrained. What has Mariamne 
done, that any thing should be concealed ?" 

The face of Herod brightened ; and he held out his arms 
to her, saying, " Thou hast told me the truth, Mariamne, for 
this evil counsel I knew before ; yet had it been wise of thee 
to have had thy maidens with thee while taking counsel with 
Joseph." 

" Then would they have told our words to every one," re- 
plied Mariamne ; " and in such matters, I have heard, secrecy 
is wise. ^Nevertheless, they were never altogether absent ; 
for, though he spoke with me in the inner chamber, yet still 
were they in the outer room ; nor was the curtain ever drawn 



396 DARK SCENES OF HISTORY: 

between them and me. But Herod loves not Mariamne if he 
believes so lightly the false tongue of a slanderer against her ;" 
and she wept. 

But Herod took her in his arms, and weeping also, told her 
that he loved her but too well, and with many an oath and 
many a caress assured her of his affection. Embraces and 
kind words followed ; . but yet Mariamne's eyes were tearful ; 
and at length she said, " I believe thou lovest me, Herod. 
Yet was not that command thou gavest, that if any harm 
came to thee from Antony, I, who had been no occasion of it, 
should perish with thee, a sign of thy love for me." 

No sooner had she spoken than Herod cast her from his 
arms, and, starting up like a madman, tore his hair and beat 
his breast, exclaiming, "It is too clear, it is too clear !" 
Twice he put his hand to his sword as if he would have slain 
her ; but then rushing out, he sought a private apartment of 
the palace, and casting himself down upon the bed, groaned 
heavily. Still, in his heart, he said to himself, " He has told 
her the deepest secret that was between us. It must have 
been told in hours of passion, when the heart is unlocked by 
love." 

For hours all seemed darkness to him ; but then came a 
little ray of light, and rising, he pondered thoughtfully and 
more calmly. " He may have told her," he thought, '" in the 
pleadings of passion, to make her hate me and love him. He 
is criminal ; yet she may be blameless. He shall die ;" and 
calling an officer to him, he whispered a word in his ear. 

The man departed, and ere the sun went down Joseph 
was no longer found upon the earth. Alexandra, whose in- 
trigues had produced such evil fruit, was placed in strict con- 
finement ; but love saved Mariamne for the time. 

Suspicion, however, had fallen upon Herod's mind, wither- 
ing his heart and his happiness, changing his nature, and ren- 
dering him, who was ever fierce and vehement, but generous, 
affectionate, and merciful, cruel, sanguinary, and relentless. 
The very strife between the bitter and worse parts of his 
character increased his impatience and irascibility ; and 
doubts, suspicions, and experience of the baseness of mankind , 
degraded the keenness of his intellect to cunning and artifice, v 
though still from time to time a more generous spirit would 
break forth, and Herod would reappear for a moment in his 
native greatness. 



HEROD THE GREAT. 397 



CHAPTER VII. 
HEROD THE GREAT. 

WITH pomp and pageantry, and every luxurious appliance 
of the East, came the beautiful, the depraved, the sanguinary 
Cleopatra into Judaea on her way back to Egypt. Although 
she had deprived Herod of a great and important part of the 
land which had been bestowed upon him, and had obtained 
from Mark Antony the whole coast of Syria, from the mouth 
of the Eleutherus down to Rhinocolura, with the exception of 
the towns of Tyre and Sidon, Herod met her with honor and 
distinction on her onward journey from Damascus. Nor did 
she treat him with less marks of favor. It is said that she 
attempted to entangle him in the same chains as Antony. It 
is said that he consulted whether he should put her to death 
as the best service he could render to the triumvir ; but it is 
certain he escaped her wiles and suffered her to proceed un- 
injured. 

In the mean time she had raised up difficulties and dan- 
gers against him. Coveting both Judsea and Arabia, she 
sought cause of quarrel with the Arabian king, and ind